Nothing Replaces Community: Giving Thanks for “IRL” Community

Mount Rainier, by Kathy Calm, wikimedia commons.

IRL = In Real Life. As opposed to virtual life, which supposedly doesn't count as "real." Yesterday I wrote about how grateful I am for my virtual community. I don't agree that one's virtual communities aren't a part of our "real lives." The support, education, amusement, and connection I get from my online relationships are very real. However, it cannot replace in the flesh community and connection.Forging relationships in the flesh is different than virtually building community. In the … [Read more...]

Online Community is a Good Thing: Giving Thanks for Virtual Community

Thanksgiving is fast approaching. In fact, I realized yesterday that it was only a week away and we still haven't ordered our local, organic, budget-breaking bird yet. I hope there are some left. For me, Thanksgiving is about family and gratitude.Thanksgiving is problematic at best; at worst, it is a celebration of genocide. I left any pretense of patriotic and historical celebrations behind long ago. Beyond its dodgy history, Thanksgiving is often a mess of traveling, bad weather, … [Read more...]

What We’re Reading


Occasionally I post what we're reading in my house. We cannot ever read just one book at a time.Me:*I started Naomi Klein's This Changes Everything when it came out in mid-September. Like her other books (No Logo and Shock Doctrine) I practically will her to be wrong about her subject matter. After carefully scrutinizing her sources and footnotes, I cannot but follow her to her conclusions. In the case of this book, I found myself so depressed and panicked by the introduction alone … [Read more...]

Blessings Are Not Enough


It's 35 degrees out. Nine a.m. and I'm on my way to my favorite easy walk, a place full of magic. I need to get out and move. I need to get out and be in a place where no one needs me, a place where I cannot distract myself. Winter descended yesterday, in all its cold, crisp, spectacular beauty. But the family life and spiritual life and all the lives in between are full, so full. I need the quiet.I pull into the unusually crowded parking lot and I see -and hear- a mass of people. Children … [Read more...]

When Puja Goes All Wrong

Today was like a new pair of fancy designer jeans. I got everything done and looked good doing it. But everything was a little awkward, like new jeans not yet stretched. Tasks felt tight, a little uncomfortable, and I was aware of every moment (and not in a Zen-like way). I should have known the day was going to be like this, judging by the way my Tuesday Kali puja went.Usually I am up before the household so I can get some exercise and spiritual practice in before the needs of others take … [Read more...]

Comic Books and the Gods

The Morrigan.

Comic books and the gods go together like peanut butter and jelly. Superman has always struck me as a Jesus-like figure. Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, two of the most lauded and fascinating storytellers in comics today, are practicing magicians and incorporate occult ideas into their works. I am not going to try to write a thorough essay on comics and the gods, because I am not remotely prepared to do so; besides, others have already done it!What I want to do is highlight some comics I've … [Read more...]

Homesick, or Learning to Love a “New” Place

Gastineau Pumphouse in Winter, by Gillfoto, Wikimedia Commons.

I grew up and became an adult in Juneau, Alaska. I've written a lot about my love for my homeland. The concept of Place shapes how I view the world and interact with it. Now I live in Olympia, Washington, a state where for many years I considered "Alaska-lite." I now see how derogatory and misguided that thinking was. It's not fair to compare the two states. One of the very things I assumed was better - Alaska's remoteness, its difficult wildness - is not actually better. Accessible wild places … [Read more...]