Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The magic wraps up in "The Party"

The third part in the trilogy of medicine stories from The Safety Pin Café is threading together nicely. I am have a wonderful time enjoying the beautiful season of summertime here in the woods of Langley. The Quonset Hut door is open to the sound of wind and the song of birds. Raven was very talkative earlier, and with a belly of lunch simmering nicely within I thought I'd encourage you to read Mend Meddle Magic with the bits laid down so far.

Here is a summary of the story thus far, laying out the threads with the characters old and new since that first season only a duck could love.

1. The Sweet Sisters have been introduced, their identity and character developed as 'crow sisters; Old Ones; elders by any standard; meddlers with their fingers in the lives of Alex, Pale, and the once-faceless woman Camilia DeSilva. They have called in Pueo to set Pale right, but Pueo has a mind to direct Pale left with questions that neutralize fear in the birthday girl.

2. The Faceless Woman, Camilia DeSilva has returned to Salish. Nearly distracted from her goal of reconnecting with the characters of The Safety Pin Café, her daughter Dani pins her to herself and now the future moves. Her story unfolding: she has made metaphorical honey with the help of the bees and is hand-stitching dresses she loves, and spreads the clothing around. Her addiction to alcohol is revealed, her recovery tested and in tact just for today. She has met new characters: The Branches, Antonio, Alex and The Sweet Sisters.

3. The children are introduced. Dani is a serious old soul with vision. Olivia is spunky, and curious about sexuality. Both of them spread the genes of one of the original characters (The Faceless Woman) and character development integrated over time is the theme here. We see the three faces of womanhood/personhood through Dani, Olivia and their mother. More about the Raven children is revealed, but is that enough about the changlings?

4. The Branches and their motel another layer of Nature and hospitality.

5. Pale's 80th birthday party depicted in the final installment "The party" will gather the essence of the medicine stories, weaving old stories with stories heard and told just the other day the other yesterday. Antonio has brought a chorus line of guests sure to create a romp of delight. Themes of human initiation and rituals of passage are experienced. Connectivity and legacy are played out through the generations of characters. The future is glimpsed, outcomes are potent. That installment is still in the making. Perhaps you have not yet met these characters and tasted the simple and complex soup of a story.

Curious now? The story is over here. It's a fun read, and fun write. Hope to find you in there with me.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Given: Sacrifices are necessary

"I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver." - Maya Angelou

Last night I was on the phone with my cousin Bryon. Our family is in the season of grief; first my brother David and then Bryon's wife Cindy. Many, many stories have surfaced, other stories have resurfaced as grief works its necessary remedies on our bodies, minds and souls. Pete, my husband observed with sweet acuity that my cousins are like my brothers and sisters. Yes, in all the meanings of the word, my cousins have been the brothers and sisters to me all my life. We were together as children when my parents were still alive offering Bryon and his siblings a complementary view of family. Ours was a different way. There are many boys and girls in my cousin's family, many variations on the theme of being human and in spirit.

With the passing of his wife, and my brother, the season of grief is working on us in different and complementary ways. My giant of a cousin threshing with the loss, normal could easily be abnormalized ... named irrational, and dangerous. Seen from a tight box, it would seem accurate. But, seen from the view of a larger view of legacy, the threshing work is the required flailing against the limits to find the essence, the meaning of losses. It is messy work, and all hands and feet are necessary. In our hour-long conversation my cousin and I went to the limits of normal and crossed the borderland. We are blood, we share legacy, and we also have room for transformation. I called him to grieve together, it was his wife's last request of me. "Maybe you and Bryon can grieve together," she said when last I spoke with her. I am big on keeping promises whenever I can. Through my personal work of recovery and soul retrieval, I have also learned when I cannot make promises. Sometimes, it is not just my personal promise that is being kept. Often it is the promise that souls know must be kept. In the promise-keeping the soul's demands heal across time.

Earlier this month I promised to commit myself to the study and practice of The Second-Half of Life. That is just where I need to be. I'm being initiated to the gates and rituals and clues to become more fully alive  at sixty-six. One of the major challenges with this elderwork study is to recognize and relinquish the Face of Ego. Oh boy, how the attachments to that face, those masks do cause a girl to cling. Being a Storyteller, I have a promise to use the crucible of story to transform. I am doing that here, and as I continue to write the medicine story and the installment "I'm the one." The job of the storyteller is to weave common everyday practices with knowledge of the elemental forces of Nature. Woven together with deft and meaningful metaphor the passing of wisdom becomes timeless salve. The seasons of birth, life, and death take on meaning. A Border Witch discovers the limit of her magic, and joins forces with something more. It's a story worth knowing.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Family came to visit

"When you plant a seed of love, it is you that blossoms" - Ma Jaya Sati

Nature, 'Ohana (family), Technology linked up for a few precious hours in our orchard yesterday. Life and death continues to be the theme of the season, we told stories of a loved one who passed after a long and valiant struggle to breathe. My cousin Cindy from Lanikai, O'ahu passed a week ago yesterday. It was Cindy and Bryan's Lanikai front yard that was our safe place during the months of living without home, but with a car we called home. It was Cindy who unabashedly introduced us to her neighbors when we rolled out from a night of sleep in our car, "These are our people!" Her daughter and Cindy's best friend arrived yesterday to celebrate a rite of commitment -- a wedding, and honored us with the first visit from 'ohana from Hawaii. Our son, Christopher has visited and been with us many times, but, as Pete said, "That's like he's coming home when he's here." We created sacred space in our woodland orchard to welcome our family, and remember a dear one with flowers, chant, stories, tears, laughs and good food. The raspberries and a few blueberries were ripe for gathering and much fun was had walking, gathering, munching and naming the la'au (growing things). Weaving the sadness into the lei of the day thanks to the technology of cybernetics and microwaves ('aue!) I saw pictures from home and we safely pinned what is important to our hearts and our souls. Mahalo Kaliko and Susie. Mahalo Cindy. Ahhh...

"Ua ola loki i ke aloha.
Love gives life within." - 'Olelo No'eau

Monday, July 7, 2014

Storytelling: one of the 4 universal healing salves

The 4 Universal Healing Salves
  1. Storytelling
  2. Singing
  3. Dancing
  4. Silence
- The Four-Fold Way

"The story that continues the unfurling life of a Border Witch, Pale Wawae and her family, friends and connections with cultures human and inter-species stopped when my brother David died unexpectedly nearly two months ago. The reality of grief, sadness and hope on the edges pressed the Pause button. I mourn still. But, Story is one of the universal healing salves and it applies itself to my heart, and my soul today. And the story continues with Alex Santiago the welder-magician mending small things as his apprentice notices how those things are done." - "The Pile" 

Summer is here on Whidbey Island. The sun warms up the woods and the communities beyond the small world where we live. The stories that are my real life cross into the medicine stories healing, mending and transforming the sorrow that requires much more than a prescription; quick fixes don't apply. What summer does teach me though is how Nature moves. Change happens. Not usually at a rate that most humans appreciate, it makes no nevermind. Nature will change at Her pace.

The third part of the medicine (story) that began when I, and the Border Witch opened the door and crossed the threshold into The Safety Pin Cafe begins, again. Now Summer, the story picks up on the threshold of that season. It is still Spring in the mythic town of Salish. Threads of the story, and bits of magic are finding ways to teach a young and watchful bird-man. The salve of storytelling spreads itself into my broken heart and does what only story can do. JOTS and I walk the trails in the woods around our tiny home, and the other salve, silence, wraps itself around us, too.

To read this application of the salve of story go here.