Sorry I haven’t blogged much; busy with life. Here’s whats worth sharing:
My sister in law moved in with us in July. I haven’t always had the smoothest of relationships with my in laws but it’s really important to me that I grow and develop into a better wife, mother, sister and friend. Luckily, right before she arrived, I finished reading a book that explored the feminine in pre-christian folk religions. There was a particularly helpful section on marriage that discussed the age old truth that being an in law is damn hard. In fact, there was even a goddess who would come down from her husband’s house in the mountains to return to her family and the village women would all leave their marriage homes to return to their mothers and fathers as well. The saying was “in her father’s home a woman is like a princess, in her husband’s home she is like the lowest servant.” (Husband’s home being multi generational of course.) Like, its a culture clash. Its normal. Its an initiation, a period of growth and change, a cycle of life. Maybe, because I was in foster care, these truisms weren’t available to me and that’s why the myths and legends and folklore are so relevant and comforting. Anyway, I keep it in mind now, and live it, and am inspired by it. All of life is an opportunity for wisdom and understanding.
Mid July we went to the Mayhem Festival which was awesome just generally but also spiritually. Summer is my Wild Hunt/Phantom Army time and I’m also a big fan of the theory that the Phantom Army was actually the masked and marauding warrior cult celebrating their victories and battle scars. So that was what the Mayhem festival was for me. I stepped out of my everyday socially acceptable role, put on a ‘mask’ and reveled in the music, nudity, aggression, smoke and alcohol. I left my husband at our seats to sit on the lawn and smoke and was joined by a drunken group of strangers, one being a young girl whose mother just died and whose boyfriend beat her. She (and the group) were Native American so her mother’s things had all been burned– all except a hair clip the girl had kept and which her abusive boyfriend held hostage. Maybe it was fate. I’ve been dealing with Friend’s suicide and talking to that girl about death culture and customs was cathartic in a way.
Speaking of Friend, his mother contacted me through email after a long silence between us (unintentional) and I noticed in my inbox– for the first time, insanely– that she had sent me his Goodbye Letter ages ago. And maybe I saw it when I was supposed to. When I was in a better place. And now I can see that he really was unwell, that it wasn’t my fault in anyway. Because he believed God had told him to die. And among other things, its shown me not to take religion too seriously. Sure, find ways to exercise the spirit and find beauty and meaning. But always retain a sense of self. Always. Also interesting was his request for Lucky Charms in his burial. On his birthday I had made a bowl for him just knowing it was his favorite and when I did a picture of me fell off the wall. So…maybe. Whatever.
And, finally. I’m in the process of becoming an in-home senior caregiver/CNA. Its my modern interpretation of the Death Angel, of being the women (woman) who cared for those transitioning, who soothed their earthly pains and who stood on the precipice of life and spirit. I’ve realized that my life has been on a trajectory of service: I served in the Army, I was a caregiver to children, and now I can serve our elders and history. I can’t think of anything I’d rather work as that is as spiritually meaningful and rewarding to myself and others.
Hope you’re all well. Later.