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...]

When People Don’t Want You In This Place

The Dahl Family. Image from http://www.seekerstemple.com/

Yesterday I read the story of High Priest Bertram Dahl's family and church in Beebe, Arkansas over at the Wild Hunt, and I was deeply moved. I don't read the Wild Hunt as often as maybe I should, and so I hadn't heard this family's tale before. I didn't know about the struggles they were having to settle in Beebe and provide the religious services that their community had asked them to bring to that town. I hadn't heard about how the mayor and other Christians in that town were blocking the new … [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...]

Where They May Be Found: Cernunnos

Apparently, I took this photo.

I actually don't know where He's found, but I took a man hunting for him.Actually, how do you hunt a god?  You don't, really.  They hunt you.  Or maybe you hunt them as the hunted hunt the hunter, or haunt the hunter.I don't know much about Cernunnos.  Others do, and have some awfully good recommendations on how to find Him.  I've only seen him once, maybe twice.  It's strange to write about a god you don't know personally and tell others where he might be found.  Mayhaps even presum … [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...]


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