Posts Tagged ‘words’

Not a stranger to myself — responding to a note from someone I used to know.

Don’t be a stranger, she writes.

I find myself thinking
how can I be anything but?
I was somewhat of a stranger to myself when I knew her,
in the midst of a getting-to-know-self dance. Getting closer, but always a
few steps behind.

Now I generally keep up but my
self keeps me on my toes.

On a person-to-person basis,
Not being a stranger implies visits,
intimate and casual conversations
some form of connection
we may or may not have.

It’s always a risk,
but to you, stranger/acquaintance/community sister,
it could be like facing a flame of my past, my past beliefs
or like facing the awkward silences of the I-used-to-know-yous,
and who are you now?

She writes that she hopes to see me soon.

I’m not sure what to say to that.

I am thinking of the dream, a few nights back, of people from that community yelling at me, of the nagging feeling that stayed with me most of the day.  I am thinking of well-meant phrases that came across as antagonistic that day with her in the garden. I am also thinking that this matters, but less and less.

I am thinking of the feeling of wholeness and happiness that lingers with me longer as time goes by. Of standing with myself, of being in partnership, of doing art, of finding ways to sustain my livelihood.

I am thinking of dancing.

Don’t be a stranger, she writes.

Maybe that time — time for not-stranger-ness —  has passed. Perhaps it has not. I feel distant from that-which-was. I am not sure of what will be.

I put the letter down. At face value, the mailing is a year-end letter from a nonprofit organization asking for money. Her note is scrawled across the top, turning the letter into a more personal appeal.

letter fragment

It does appeal to the part of me that wanted — and wants to be part of something. But I remind myself that I am part of something, of some things: my own life, my marriage, my friendships, my Nia communities, large and small.

And I think of what it means to belong, not merely fit in. And how at some points in my life, I felt like I belonged and fit in, but often confused the two. While I’m still at odds with myself sometimes, in feeling “not enough,” I feel more like I belong. I belong, most of all, to myself. I’m not sure I want to fit in, at least not in the way I once did.

I don’t know how much thought she put into writing this short note. Clearly, I have put some thought into how I am reacting and responding to it.

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Friday link roundup 10/13

The Boy Scouts has announced that it will soon start admitting girls.

After 20 years, AOL is shutting down AOL Instant Messenger. Ah, all the memories of good chats….

About the “mystery box” aspects in television shows  The Good Place and This is Us.

From the New York Times: stories of several of the women coming forward about their experiences with film producer Harvey Weinstein.

From the Merriam-Webster dictionary online: better ways (or more effective ways) to say, “This sucks.”

Magic

I heard this recently one of the owners of a local pagan shop/community center: “Magic is solving a problem without creating a new one.”

What is magic to you?

 

 

 

Wedding countdown: etymology

So, today I begin with a countdown: 30 days until I get married. I may not blog daily, but I hope to include reflections of my process here. I’ll be exploring what marriage means to me, what it might mean for me to be a wife and spouse, etc.  I’ll also be doing daily rituals. We’re in the process of creating a handfasting wedding ceremony, and I want to hold some sacredness in the days before as well.

For awhile now, my love and I have occasionally been calling each other “husband” and “wife.” In some ways, it’s like trying the titles on, and in other ways, we’re using the terms affectionately to express how we feel about each other.

Being a lover of words, I’m beginning with etymology: What are the dictionary definitions of these terms, and where did they come from?

Wife
origin: Germanic to Old English, meaning “woman”

Wife meaning female spouse began in Old English

Husband
Old Norse, comes from the words “hus” – “house”and”bondi” – occupier and titler of the soil. Together, husbondi meant “master of the house.”

This led to the Old English term husband, which meant male head of household; in late 13th century it replaced the word wer meaning a married man.

Other wedding/marriage related terms:

wed: from old English weddian, meaning to pledge, to give oneself in marriage

wedding: ceremony of marriage, pledging, uniting. Interesting fact: the usual Old English term for wedding was bridelope or bridal run, referring to taking the bride to her new household.

I’ll share more on my personal reflections on what marriage, weddings, and being a bride and a wife mean to me soon.

Haiku: Insomnia

I’m thankful that I generally sleep better these days.

Insomnia sucks
Wish I could sleep more soundly
My thoughts stay restless

– 2013

Connected.

Swirls of color in the sky
Light playing over the landscape
People dancing around the fire
Night sky full of stars
Pine trees, drinking from the stream
Trust and warmth flooding through

Sweetness and relief flowing over me
Thoughts wandering but not resting in between
In the sacredness of this, I feel my body, connected.

– February 2013

Visualization: creating presence.

Continuing to clear out my drafts folder. This was in the papers I sorted through earlier this summer.

From a wise woman visualization in a class on transformation:

She hands me a woven shawl that she tenderly drapes across my shoulders, a round stone with a spiral carved into it, and a map with a compass so I can always have a guide. The temple itself is made of tree boughs and logs, with stain glass windows that attract the light.

She smiles, such warmth and beauty. She wears long sleeves and a long, flowing skirt. She is so present and that is the main gift she gives to me, the vividness, the sharpness of what it means to be present.

– November 2012