Playing Catch Up

Playing Catch Up May 12, 2015

In late winter I promised that I would write less. I keep forgetting this promise and instead, getting down on myself for not writing “enough.” Here is what is happening in between the posts:

Blackberry, comfrey and morning glory. All over the yard. All over.
Blackberry, comfrey and morning glory. All over the yard. All over.

Family life is busy, as usual. The baby is over a year old and is mobile. She needs more attention. The four year old is out of preschool. She is bright, needing more stimulation. She is also a little lonely with Mama writing all the time and big brother at school. She needs more attention.

We avoided a lot of winter sicknesses, but have been slammed in May. After I recovered from strep throat last week, all of the kids caught a puking bug on Mother’s Day. Good times.

I don't know what this is, but it grows in several places on our property. I don't weed it out because it's pretty.
I don’t know what this is, but it grows in several places on our property. I don’t weed it out because it’s pretty.

I continue to feel the pull to move inward with my work. I am craving fewer voices in my head. To facilitate that silence I’ve significantly muted my Facebook activity, as well as my online time. This inward pull is part of an ongoing case of mid-life crisis (a numerically important birthday approaches in just three weeks). I am looking closely at my spiritual practices, my “work/life” balance, and the angst I carry with me regarding my connection to Place and this Land.

That latter one is exacerbated by the fact that I know next to nothing about gardening and plants, and our property is a riot of weeds. I’m learning a TON just by getting out and talking with the weeds. Even my four year old now goes out and will talk to Morning Glory: “You can grow on the fence, but Mama told you not to grow here.” The Morning Glory is as obedient as the 4 year old.

But crammed between the chores, the devotions, and the cuddles is the writing.

My most recent piece for Polytheist.com went up yesterday. It’s about raising Polytheist kids. What I failed to mention in that piece is that we also read a LOT of myth and lore in our house. We read fairly tales (the older Grimm versions and so on). We read stories from around the world. We read creation stories. This develops a vocabulary for religions of every kind and type.

What’s important to me is that my children witness devotion and practice as a part of life, as a joy and blessing, and as something that benefits our family and communities. Some practices are done alone and with my door shut, but for the most part I let my kids see, hear, smell, and touch what I do. My practice is significantly messier than it was before kids, but if I want them to develop a practice they need to see what that looks like! Kids learn from watching and copying.

I am working on a piece for Gods & Radicals next week, a piece that is a bit of a departure from the writing I do here. Gods & Radicals is a contentious new site that looks at the intersection between Paganism and anti-Capitalism. I don’t get very political on this blog, but I am a very political person. How can I not be? Feminism has taught me that the personal is the political. I see politics as the manifestation of my values in the world. Just writing openly about witchcraft and Paganism is a political act. Being a loud-mouthed, educated woman is a political act. And so on.

I plan to post a companion piece here next week about why I think anti-Capitalism is important, how it fits in to our work as Pagans and witches, and hopefully dispel a few myths about what anti-Capitalism is and is not. (Spoiler alert: it’s not about burning civilization to the ground and reverting back to the pre-modern era.)

As always I am plugging away at work for Many Gods West. Please come join us this summer in Olympia!

Lastly, I am preparing to speak tomorrow to a Sociology of Religions class at Seattle Pacific University, an evangelical Methodist university. I will be representing Paganism and Pagans (and also polytheists and witches). This is a new sort of presentation for me, as it combines academic explanation of this huge mess of identities and practices that is Big Umbrella Paganism with personal experience and expression of me as a invidual. I’ll try to do us all proud. And I’ll post about it later this week!

 

 

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  • RE: Many Gods West – I cannot attend in person (much sadness) but I wonder if you all have considered any means by which to provide access online (much hopefulness)? Also, I look forward to hearing more about your experiences at Seattle Pacific U. I’ve attempted similar explanations and it ain’t easy, but I’ve found it rewarding.

    • David, I don’t think we can manage online access. Maybe if this event happens in the future? Your faithful conveners don’t have the tech skill, nor do we have equipment for it. I am sorry.

      • Poo. That’s what I expected, but I thought I’d ask. Starting this July I’ll have some more flexibility in my life so maybe I’ll be able to attend and help out next time (also much hopefulness) 🙂

      • It might be possible to record some of the presentations via audio. I might record mine.

  • Henry Buchy

    it’s one of the columbines….

  • Weed you don’t know is columbine. That is a fantastic plant! (It was the flower on Ravens and my wedding cake,)

    • My camera phone doesn’t seem to take the greatest pictures. It’s probably human error…..

  • BTW Nikki – comfrey is the plant from Hell. You cannot transplant it – you cannot kill it.I tried transplanting ours because it was over-running the daisies – two years later and am still trying to convince it that it doesn’t ant to grow in the daisy patch. I want it to be far away from my other gardens so the other plants have a chance. The only saving grace is that it makes a great salve.

    • Japanese knotweed is the plant from hell. And we have that too! Our yard is made up of buttercup, plaintain, dandelions, blackberry, comfrey, a variety of thistle family plants, knotweed, and a few others I don’t know the names of. We do have some fireweed and THAT is truly one of my favorite plants ever, so I’ll take it.

      • Blackberry doesn’t do well on my land. I am so disappointed…