The power of the song thrush: life, death and the feast of St. John

Image by Jose Sousa, used under Creative Commons license.

"'Twas on the twenty-fourth of June Oh, as I sat weaving all at my loom, 'Twas on the twenty-fourth of June Oh, as I sat weaving all at my loom, I heard a thrush, singing on yon bush, And the song she sang was the jug of punch."These words are the first verse of a traditional Irish drinking song, The Jug of Punch, in its simplest form. I'm thinking of it today, St. John's Eve. The feast of St. John, celebrated on the 23rd and 24th June, is a Christian gloss over the celebration of the … [Read more...]

The Queen of Fair Elfland

American Elder

             True Thomas he took off his hat, And bowed him low down to his knee: “All hail, thou mighty Queen of Heaven! For your peer on earth I never did see.”“O no, O no, True Thomas,” she says, “That name does not belong to me; I am but the queen of fair Elfland, And I’m come here for to visit thee. A couple of weeks ago, I made some elder flower tincture. I have done this off … [Read more...]

That Place We Keep Meeting

Two weeks ago I returned to the US from Scotland. The day after arrival in Seattle, I marched up to REI to buy myself a hammock tent that I'd researched online. Last Monday and Tuesday I hunkered down in the forest on a friend's land on an island not far from here. I meant to disconnect, to take three days off of work and travel just to let my spirit catch up with me in the new timezone. I meant to stay away from computers so that I could just listen to birds and the sounds of the forest. … [Read more...]

Perspective in Place

Train cars and wildflowers along the Southern Crescent line

Last week, I took a train trip from Atlanta to New Orleans. You can read a little more about that here and here, plus I will probably write more about the experience of being in New Orleans, as it absolutely deserves its own post (or several).  Right now though I want to talk a little bit about traveling, the process of going from one place to another, and perspective...especially what I am going to call the "medium-sized picture."Our language exhibits a bias towards "the big picture."  We a … [Read more...]

From Here to There

On the train!

Today I am going to New Orleans, on the train.  I’m doing it just for the hell of it, really, and to write; a more detailed explanation of my “writing on the train” project can be found here.  I have actually never ridden a train other than steam engine excursion trains in the US before, even though I adore trains immoderately. I am writing this while riding, ensconced in queenly comfort (compared to an airplane seat) and having just fetched my breakfast from the dining car.  We left the Atlanta … [Read more...]

Home.

Today, I was going to write a long post. About how happy I am to be home after two years of rebuilding. About what home means. About how good it feels to walk around 'our' land and know each plant and bird and critter by name. About how happy those beings seem that we're back -- the non-corporeal ones, too. (I'm sure the sweet things I left in the trees and the little "Happy to be home!" song I sang helped with the latter.)But as happy as I am, I'm surrounded by boxes, the house smells of … [Read more...]

Where They May Be Found: Arianrhod

Pond_in_a_forest_clearing_bgiu

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."--Oscar Wilde In What Earth Sees of Sky I was once told by a man in a dream to look for the gods in the rain, and what's in-between the rain. But I don't meet Arianrhod in the rain, but what's before and what's after.A decade ago I began staring at puddles again. Ever done this? Since you were a kid, I mean, playing in the little lakes upon stone, pooling water from rains standing still as glass until you stomp them? … [Read more...]


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