A Tale of Hospital Spirits

Hospital Hall

When I think of hospitals, I usually think of broken bones or mild concussions, ice skating accidents and bumps from falls of a bicycle. Most of the time, the hospital is where we go to get fixed up. But hospitals are strange places, where death is just as familiar as life, and no matter how hard the doctors and nurses fight, sometimes a life just slips away.The small town hospital where my mother went for a scheduled surgery last week is a busy and bustling place during the weekdays. It's … [Read more...]

The Scythe… Harvest And Death

Scythe against hedge" by Richard New Forest - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

The summer has been hot and mostly dry in Seattle. The front lawn at the house where I've been staying has grown tall with grass, clover and plantain. The backyard is full of wild oats, dandelions and more plantain. A few three foot tall thistle plants grace the edges of the yard and one giant fennel plant stands about 6 feet tall near the side door. As I sit outside in the shade thinking, I dream of scything the whole lot.It's not that I don't like these plants. Quite the contrary. I love … [Read more...]

Where They May Be Found: Ceridwen

Photo credit: Kevin Freitas

Maybe you know the story.  A goddess had two children: one beautiful, one hideous.  And because she knew that beauty didn't really matter all that much, or because she knew that it only mattered to others, that it was a way to elicit attention from others, to get others to think you worth their time she decided she'd give her son wisdom.She could have given him power, or wealth, the usual substitutes for beauty.  With money he could have maybe afforded braces so that he'd look like what ev … [Read more...]

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 Value of Communities of Place

Knit-bombed Seattle. Image by sterling 2011

Last week, stuck in the Southeastern Snowmageddon, it looked as if I might not make it to Seattle at all, but Friday morning, before the sun dared even think about creeping up over the horizon, I climbed into a taxi and rode on icy streets to the Greensboro airport. I had been rebooked for free on a series of flights one day later than I'd originally booked because of the weather. The weather was still icy, but at least it wasn't actively snowing that morning. Even so, the plane took off late. … [Read more...]

The Place of Death.

Photo by Anne Burgess

Two weeks ago a friend of mine was feeling unwell. She'd been under a lot of stress. She was prone to anxiety at the best of times, but at that point she was overwhelmed completely. That Sunday she'd collapsed in the park while she walked her dog. She thought that she'd fainted from a panic attack. A neighbour helped her back to her 3rd floor apartment. The next day, she reached out to friends to ask for help with walking her dog and dealing with other practical matters while she tried to get … [Read more...]

‘Big’ people are people, too.

argesar

This piece was originally published on 26th October, 2013, at my personal blog. When asked to think about how religion has changed in 2013, and how that change has affected me personally, this experience immediately came to mind. It's not about Paganism, but it is about people, and place, and community. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Doesn’t this guy look sweet? He’s Chöje Akong Tulku Rinpoche, co-leader of Kagyu Samyé Ling Monas … [Read more...]


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