athenagrey: (dreamer)
Whether you celebrated the Winter Solstice with me last week, are celebrating Hanukah or Christmas today, or simply pausing to reflect for a moment, I wish you peace. 

We are at the heart-center of the season, re-turning slowly from the innermost turns of the spiral, heading back toward the light. It is a time to nurture our new found wisdom and to continue to listen to the small voice that some call conscience, and others call the Divine.

We have been called to change the world, at least the part of it that we call home. Let's do it mindfully and peacefully.
 
athenagrey: (Default)
 Everything takes longer.  That's just the way it is, because there are no straight lines or direct routes for a kitten.  All that movement and energy goes in circles and spirals and sometimes straight up!

As for me, everything takes longer because there are two to feed, brush and snuggle with. The salt shaker has to be rescued from under the sideboard, and the sewing supplies have to be stored on the impossibly high shelf.

Most times, I just give up on sewing and sit and giggle at the sight of Indigo carefully batting a snippet of thread. Was Amber so involved in everything when she was that young?  It's hard to remember, but I think so.  I remember my mother's account of making soup, which ended, "and you can ask Amber for the recipe, because she helped each slice of vegetable go into the pot."
athenagrey: (Default)
Solstice greetings, my dear ones!

I have been wrapped in stillness so deep and beautiful that words seem distant and primitive. This season, I did not have the luxury of a gentle winding inward to the still place of the heart. I stumbled deep into it from the completely opposite space that I occupy in the protests. I am fortunate that wherever I am, no matter how burned out and exhausted, i can find my way home to solitude.

It has been blissful these past few days. No striving, no holding ground against opposing values, no one yelling at me, and no ominous police-soldiers.

All is gentle in the stillness. Dearest Amber cat purrs and sleeps. She is approaching her seventeenth birthday and each day with her is a gift and a blessing.

Indigo cat arrived three weeks ago, though I feel like I have known her forever. She is curious and active, all things a kitten should be.  She lived for two months with a friend of mine, but it was not the right home for her and I was so glad to welcome her into mine..  She and Amber are both gentle spirits and they nurture and comfort each other. 

They nurture and comfort me, too. A duet of purrs is magical and filled with bliss.

But, let me tell you about something else that was ever so magical and prepared me for the tumble into stillness. 

What has nurtured and comforted me was a day spent in the company of Starhawk and Lisa Fithian. They taught a workshop on Deconstructing Empire, where we developed strategies for a long campaign of resistance that would crumble the pillars and foundations of the greed-fueled economic and political structure. 

Then, at the close of the day we went out to Liberty Square for a ritual of community and healing.  This is the park that we occupied for nearly two months, now restored by force to the empty granite wasteland that it once was. 

In the process of healing, and releasing attachment to the park, I could feel the stress leaking out of every fiber of my being.  This is when I realized how burned out I was. It took nearly a week to de-stress, leaving me empty and ready to receive bliss.

May your time in the stillness of midwinter be filled with love, bliss, and especially stillness.

athenagrey: (Default)
it's been years since I've been in a protest
young self lived on the anti-war circuit
in the good company of my father
my mother and I stood vigil together often
and today I helped occupy Wall Street for a time

something shifted within me
bringing me back to these peaceful roots
believing that it does make a difference
if all it creates is a passing thought in one mind
or one hundred thoughts passing in one hundred minds
you cannot stuff thoughts back into the box
and thus you do change the world
if only for an instant

this is real magic

I haven't figured out how to do pictures on Dream either
so I will send you here for my impressions of today
http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-679667


athenagrey: (Seer)
the autumnal equinox,
this time of harvest and introspection
shares themes with Rosh Hashanah and Sukkot.
I will bake my apples,
while you dip yours in honey.
we will both take stock of our lives
and realize than endings
are preludes to beginnings.
we are drawn to be outdoors;
well, I always am.
my holiday is enriched by knowing
that you walk a similar path.
why must people see their differences
more brightly than their commonalities?
why have the leaders of israel and palestine
never considered the sacrifices
of both the peoples,
torn in turn from their homelands
by the blind vision
of righting ancient wrongs?
we are not so different after all.
day is night is day.
i am you.

Blessings!
athenagrey: (Default)
It's strange that my measure of normalcy is how well the railway timetable is followed. Trains punctuate the rhythm of my life.

I've had internet connection issues since the storm, which may get sorted out in a day or so. I'm just glad that the Aerie is as snug and dry as ever.

Other than the fierce winds on Sunday afternoon, I was too busy to notice much. We had a major software deployment that occupied every waking hour of my Saturday, and into early afternoon on Sunday. My internet connection went out just as we were finishing up.
athenagrey: (Default)
The last train eastbound will be passing through in a few minutes.

Even in the worst winter storm, we always have the occasional train.

This time, the governor ordered the trains to stop running at noon.

It's prudent. I keep using that word a lot. I can't bring myself to say that it's necessary.

The forecast still says 6-10 inches of rain. It still says a hurricane warning.

Working today, in my snug Aerie, mostly waiting for others' work to finish so that I can begin.

Hoping that prudence becomes an overabundance of caution.
athenagrey: (Default)
I live a couple of miles inland from the coastal evacuation zone, so I am used to staying home in bad storms. I've also lived on some isolated country roads, so I've learned the art of being self-sufficient for a few days. I like to think that I do it in style.

Water is the most important thing. 3 gallons per person. Please don't rush to the market and buy 3 gallons of water (each). Or if you do, save the bottles for next time. Your water supply is still working now, right?

So fill your pitchers, bottles and storage jars with water, and put them in the fridge. Tap water will keep for three days without a problem. Fill all your ice cube trays, too, so that you will have ice for cocktails. I have a great BPA-free plastic food storage container that will hold a gallon of water. I freeze that, so that I have a block of longer lasting ice, and eventually ice water to drink.

Then there's food. Three days of that, also. Forget the spaghetti-Os and canned beans. If the power goes out, I plan on using up all the best food in the refrigerator and freezer on the first day. What a feast! I'll invite the neighbors and we'll have an awesome potluck. Then it's time to reach into the stockpile of storm food for the next couple of days. There are some yummy entrees that come in shelf-stable foil pouches. I have an assortment of rice pilafs and Indian vegetarian entrees. I'm not serving them cold, either, because I have a butane stove (usually found in Asian grocery stores. I also have some backpacking entrees left over from my last hike. I've got peanut butter for sandwiches, and plenty of fresh fruit and veggies. Soy milk in individual boxes and granola for breakfast, with more fruit.

Omnivores could stock up on the tuna, salmon and chicken in pouches.

I don't have a well with an electric pump any more, but when I did, I always filled all the bath tubs with water, so that we could wash dishes or selves, and most importantly, flush.

Candles? Um, yeah. I'm a witch. Of course I have candles.

Stay safe, my dears. I'm not really expecting to need any of the things I described above, but it makes me feel secure to know that I have a plan.
athenagrey: (Default)
It's strange that I have never had the quirky user experience on LJ that so many friends have experienced. I wonder why?

Nonetheless, I am on Dreamwidth and think that it's a good idea to have more than one option. I will read and reply to comments on both sites, because I'll always have an LJ account as long as there is an LJ, and I will post on DW as long as I have friends posting here. It's all good to me.

I am trying to wring every juicy drop of summer out of the season. It has been so enjoyable, despite all the rain. I've spent more time than usual at the beach, and managed to squeeze in a couple of delightful R&R visits to Omega Institute. I've made honey lavender ice cream.

I still want to spend some time in the hills (misted, of course), and go kayaking on a mirror-still lake. It's on my list. I want to spend time in my previous hometown and in my next hometown. That's also on my list. I want to see a moose. Alas, moose don't keep lists.

What precious bits of summer are you still savoring?

Welcome

Aug. 7th, 2011 07:29 pm
athenagrey: (Default)
I haven't quite moved in...still unpacking digital boxes...everyone is eager to meet the new neighbor.

OK, the unpacking has gone quite well. All my old posts have come out of the box, been fluffed up a bit, and added below.

I don't post much in the summer, but expect to be indoors and online more when autumn arrives.

now

Aug. 7th, 2011 10:34 am
athenagrey: (Default)
 blackcurrent tea
sip and smile
listen to purring

sigh with contentment

studio awaits
burnout fading to stillness
then speaking the heart's song
athenagrey: (Lammas)
lughnasadh,
when the chicory blooms.
I am that kind of witch,
weed or wildflower,
tenacious and practical.
it's time to turn away from the sun
come closer in
and harvest the grain.

I think of all the things
I haven't done
but a coat of red paint
makes things right again
(so mother said).

simple altars for simple days
a finger sweeps deosil
and the circle is drawn.

reiki and music merge in my mind
(those of you who have symbols
will understand),
sharing energy with
Mother Goddess.

bread never tasted so good.

Lughnasadh blessings to all!
athenagrey: (Default)
I left us all in the midst of the iPad story.  In all fairness to Apple and Verizon, let me tell you the happy ending.  

The Fifth Ave. Apple store has always been my favorite; it's just not convenient to go all the way uptown to shop when most of my NYC destinations are downtown.

I made a special trip uptown because I've always had a good customer experience at that store.  It's  a big and busy store, but the focus is on sales and service.  I've bought a few laptops there. This is where we go when we need serious repairs.

They had the right iPad in stock, and in fifteen minutes, it was set up and working fine.  That's the way the story ends.

And she lived happily ever after.
athenagrey: (prayer flags)
 Those who didn't spring clean are destined to summer clean instead. The day before Midsummer finds me cleaning the Aerie. I should have done more when the days were cooler, but those cooler days were also dark and rainy days, and I had no energy for cleaning.  I am filled with energy now and have been washing windows all day, preparing to let the sun in. It's time to sweep down the old cobwebs and give the spider a chance to start anew.

Midsummer is a big and bold holiday, and I've been celebrating since the weekend.  The Clearwater Great Hudson River music festival was a spirited way to begin the season. Yes, the music and the musicians make it special.  Janis Ian, Dar Williams, Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie all gave phenomenal performances. The place and the people make it extra special.  There's something about outdoor concerts, with their easy informality, and something very special about the people who attend them.  People who color outside the lines, people who believe in each other, and people who believe in the power of the individual to change the world.

As the midsummer sun shines on us all, let's pause and soak in the energy (Please wear sunblock.  I promise the spiritual energy still gets through). Let's reflect on the power that we hold within us. As ordinary people, we have the power to change the world. One song at a time, one world at a time.

And the word is peace.
athenagrey: (Reeds)
 tomorrow, by the river
there will be music
and celebration of the water.

years ago, I pledged myself
to this majestic river
promising to amplify her song
and promising to bring healing
to these waters

I am a riverkeeper

once, this glorious river
was clean and clear, 
her banks lined with old forests

first came the sewers
then came the tanneries
then came the paper mills and the dioxins
they took freely the upstream waters
and sent their filth downstream

then came the factories
who left behind PCBs

we are all upstream of someone
and downstream of something

this is the river's truth

Tomorrow, we all gather to sing her song



Clearwater's Great Hudson River Revival
a weekend of music and riverkeeping
June 18-19

athenagrey: (prayer flags)
 I am recovered from my  misadventures at the Apple store.  I never told you the worst of it.  By the time we got to Verizon iPad #2, the store was hosting a music performance.  We were at the absolute opposite end of the sales floor, but the music was deafening, thumping, gutteral (yes, the miss-spelling is deliberate) rap.  Just loud beyond all imagining. Painfully loud. LOUD loud.

In truth, it was the music more than anything that made us decide to give up.  We couldn't hear each other, and we couldn't hear the Verizon rep on the phone who was trying hard to help us.  I remember asking her to yell into the phone so I could hear her. It didn't help.

It's folly to treat your customers like that. The music could have been a third as loud and still been heard throughout both floors of the store.  It is a store, after all, a place where people go to buy things in relative peace. The manager didn't understand this at all. She could have asked them to temper the volume. She didn't care about her customers' experience at all.

All that is so far away, now.  It's quiet here in the Aerie. It's a cool but humid morning, and the humidity is just another gentle wrapper that filters the sounds of birdsong.  Amber is purring. All is at peace.
athenagrey: (me?)
 My dears, it's not for lack of trying. You do know that any transaction that deals with a cell phone carrier is fraught with the possibility of failure.

The first failure happened last week when I bought a whiz-bang iPad2 with all the frills.  It worked beautifully in the Aerie, and poorly in other critical locations, just like my iPhone.  Always an excuse from the wireless network.  It drops out and I get no data. So, after a week, I returned the iPad, with the intent of buying one that uses the other carrier.

But they wouldn't sell me one.  The carrier said they couldn't sell them at that moment. FTF?

I searched the internet, but could find no recall stories.  Odd, eh?

So, tonight I tried again.  Bought iPad #2 and we couldn't properly register it with the carrier.  Returned it (without ever having left the Apple Store) and bought iPad #3.   Three hours, 5 store employees and one manager later, it was the same failure, ending with another return.  So, now that I'm home from that ordeal and poking around online, I see breaking stories that Apple is 'quietly' recalling said iPads.

Maybe I'll wait another few weeks and try again.
athenagrey: (mudra)
 I think we can call it spring now.  It has rained itself out, and now it is deliciously hot. My window box plants are happy. They had time to set down roots while it rained, and now they are growing, growing, growing.

So, too, it is time for spiritual growth.

I am dedicating Monday as a retreat for peace, a day of mindfulness.

I won't keep complete silence. Sometimes the voice of the Goddess arises from the stillness and I want to chant and sing in harmony with Her.

I will spend time on the headlands, looking into the waters and sensing the strength in the rocks beneath me. 

I will weave, for this is my meditation in motion.

Most of all, I will cherish commonplace, everyday things. A spider web.  My cat's raspy purr. An imperfect leaf.  For an ordinary witch, these things are the embodiment of the Goddess. 

I will not retreat from everyday reality.  I will savor it and take refuge in it.

What about you?  Do retreats figure in your spiritual practice? What do you retreat into?
athenagrey: (Draw Down the Moon)
Hail, Lady Moon

your daughters circle and dance
pale skin glowing in near dark
and dark skin radiant in dim light
we dance wildly with your praise
we sing and chant your song
and fall silent to gaze upon
a face veiled tonight, unseen
but never unfelt or unknown
for we are your daughters

blessings showered upon all witches who honor the Goddess tonight

Blessed be!
athenagrey: (Default)
I was late in planting my window boxes, but they are done.  This year's colors are rose and lime green.




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