One Repeat One, Vol. 5 : Harp Wants You to Hear

By March 28, 2015 Harper's 1st..., Le Guppy, Music, On Repeat One
Librarianwm

The best thing my mother every gave me, other than my take no bull attitude, is the ability to connect the the words and sounds that make up the  music we chose to swim in. To see it as a living breathing creature. Guy grew up with a smattering of Christian rock that he doesn’t remember and Amy Grant which he does. Not a whole lot more. His connection with music didn’t start until high school. In fact it might be fair to say it didn’t start until me…but I wanted Harper to start life with a love of riffs and chords and melodies. She came into this world with a love for The Beatles so bright and obvious it surprised even me; that desire to commune with the spirits that live inside the songs we listen to has only grown.

I’m proud to say she has better taste in music than most adults. You’ll have to forgive her obsession with Let it Go. She’s only four. I put those two most uhhh skippable songs at the beginning so if you can’t even one more time pass right on by those and enjoy Harper’s first playlist.

1: Let It Go {Idina Menzel} 2: The Fox {Ylvis} 3:Geronimo {Sheppard} 4: Hooked on a Feeling {Blue Swede} 5: Spiderwebs {No Doubt} 6: Let’s Dance {David Bowie} 6: Raspberry Beret {Prince & The Revolution} 7:You Make My Dreams {Hall & Oates} 8: Thrift Shop {Macklemore and Ryan Lewis} 9: Ice Ice Baby {Vanilla Ice} 10: Superstition {Stevie Wonder} 11: 1901 {Phoenix} 12: Best Friend {Foster the People} 13: You Get What You Give {New Radicals}

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I’m Sorry I Forgot to Write : “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” -Ray Bradbury

By March 25, 2015 Just Me
JM10wm

I left this poor little rowboat of a blog out in the vast ocean of the internet to fend for itself. Life has been overwhelming. Two trips to Japan, a kindergarten registration, a snow storm that “trapped” me in Tennessee cabin with 30 other professional photographers, laundry, yard work, and an anxiety attack inducing trip to the dentist where they told me I had $2000 worth of cavities. That’s what the last few months have looked like. They have been wonderful and exhausting and so so overwhelming.

Somehow those things that bring the most solace are the first to go when everything is hectic. Writing is a sturdy locked door behind which I can fall apart without the grace the world expects. Usually I do it in private on the backs of receipts or on the corners of snotty napkins but sometimes those unkempt thoughts end up in a somewhat coherent piece that ends up here. The truth is that I haven’t been writing at all. Not privately or publicly. I’ve let the daily practice slide and managed to excuse myself from all the things that tether me to the ground.

And I didn’t even realize I had done it. In fact, it was my pesky little brother that reminded me of a folder full of unfinished thoughts on my desktop beseeching completion. Leave it to little brothers to remind you of everything you never did. I’m trying to be better and remind myself that the unfolded laundry can wait and the box of Annie’s organic mac and cheese won’t suffer from a night on the counter instead of in the pantry.

There is something so wearing about all those day by day responsibilities that we get caught in them. We forget that living is not just a beating heart. It is the awareness that the thump against the breastbone is not eternal and that each beat is a split-second offering from the universe.  Life is more than a knee jerk reflex. Living is being and doing and doing with purpose. For me that means writing and hiding behind my camera and playing with Playdoh ; barbeque with good friends and good beer and exploring. I’ve been doing a lot of exploring and not enough time with the people who love me. And spending almost no time thinking about what this vast world world means as I traverse though it. And I’m sorry I forgot to write, more for me than for anyone else. I’m trying, I really am.

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What a Pagan Would Like You to Know About Her Beliefs: “I believe in God, only I spell it Nature” – Frank Lloyd Wright

By December 11, 2014 Guest Posts and Interviews, I Would Like You To Know
What I Would LIke You to Know

This is the fourth in a series of guest posts in a series called “I Would Like You To Know”. In an attempt to create a space for people of all backgrounds, races, religions, creeds, ethnicites, genders, sexual orientations, disabilities, and socio-economic statuses I am seeking guest blog posts. If you would like to share your unique background, I would love to hear and share your story. Email me at Rachel[@]deletingtheadjectives.com with your name, a link to your blog, and a brief synopsis of your story with the title “As a _________ I would like you to know” in the subject box. You fill in the blank and the subsequently the gaps in our collective knowledge.

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As a Pagan I would like you to know what we believe.

I should preface this with a disclaimer – this is my personal path, and not all Pagans will believe as I do, but I will be trying to generalise here for the sake of ease of understanding. Trust me – I’m not out to offend anyone.

I’m Pagan and, thankfully, unlike many of my Pagan friends and acquaintances, I am yet to experience any negativity geared directly towards me based on my chosen religious path.

We’re kind of misunderstood, but we also kind of like it that way. We are often seen as uneducated hippies who run around with no clothes on. Some of us are a bit like that, but the majority of us are educated and, in fact, well-versed in our own beliefs because many of us, myself included, have come to Paganism on our own and therefore had to do our own research, rather than being fed information from a lecturn.

Paganism (or technically NeoPaganism) is an umbrella term for a group of various religious and spiritual paths including (but certainly not limited to) Wicca, Druidism, Asatru and Reconstructionism. I’m not going to get too in-depth with any one religion because, frankly, a decent-sized book could be written about the varying paths of Wicca alone, but I will give a quick rundown of how I came to Paganism and what I believe.

I was brought up in a rather secular household. I was christened Anglican, but my family didn’t really do anything religious, just celebrated Easter and Christmas mostly. I never felt like anything was lacking in my spirituality, but I definitely didn’t feel connected to Christianity (and to be honest, sitting in a church during Easter and Christmas services at school made me feel terribly claustrophobic).

I was probably around 10 or 11 years old when I first saw the film, “The Craft”, with my sister (this seems like such a cliche story, but trust me it gets deeper). If you’ve seen the film, you can imagine my pre-teen excitement – “Oh my god, I want to change my hair colour like that!” “WOW I want to make someone’s hair fall out!”. At around the same time, I was just starting to succumb to a new fad called ‘The Internet’, so of course I used this to my advantage – I found website upon website full of do-it-yourself magic and spells, which were all just what I wanted.

On my travels, I found a website called ‘Witchvox’, or The Witches’ Voice. It was enormously different to everything else I’d looked at. I read a few articles. And I found that what I was reading really resonated with me. Almost everything they were talking about made complete sense to me. Over the next 2-3 years, I read more and more – websites and books alike – and it felt like coming home. I actually had a name for the beliefs I held within my heart.

I started off identifying as Wiccan but as time has moved on and I’ve grown older, I’ve discovered more about other religions under the Pagan umbrella, and less of the specifically Wiccan beliefs and ideals have rung true, so at the moment I joke and call myself “Eclectic Pagan with Wiccan and Druidic Tendancies”.

So what *do* Pagans believe? It depends who you ask, really, but I’ve found there are four general components that tie Pagans together:
1. We all see sacredness within cycles. So the cycles of life and death, the cycle of the seasons, the moon cycles, etc.
2. The body is sacred. Not that we necessarily all worship the body, but the body is treated as natural – in Christianity, the body can be treated as sinful; in Buddhism, the body is a ‘trap for the mind’ which ought to be transcended. Paganism doesn’t have a low regard for the body – it is more than a vessel.
3. A belief in a Goddess, or more than one deity. Some Pagans don’t believe in deity at all, which is also absolutely fine of course, but most of the Pagans I know believe in duality of deity – a God and a Goddess. A kind of “it takes two to tango” belief.
4. A reverence of nature. Again, not all Pagans worship or see nature as holding huge significance in their lives, but most of the Pagans I associate with do, so that’s something I’ve noted as a general Pagan belief.

I think also that there is a strong sense of community in Paganism – and regardless of what path you’re on, you’ll always feel you have somewhere you belong. There are local groups or groups online that support and strengthen our community as a whole, and this can only be beneficial because being in a community with many different people and their paths can only continue to open our minds to new information and ideas, which in turn further our learning and growth as human beings. Community is pivotal and, I think, crucial. You can read as many books as you like, but there’s nothing quite like standing in Circle with 100+ other people – the energy is palpable. Finding my community helped me grow immensely, as well as find me some great new friends on the way.

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Paganism; it really is a whole world – an entity! – of its own. If you’re interested in finding out more, I certainly welcome questions, as I’m sure I’ve probably left more asked than answered in this short piece.

Namaste, Goddess Bless, Merry Part and Blessed Be!

Terri is a 26 year old wife and mother of two living in Tasmania, Australia. She blogs at various locations around the internet, but the two main spots are at TheGeekWitch.com and MamaBytes.com.au. Email her at thegeekwitch@gmail.com.

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My Friends Are Always Better People Than I Am: “Now some days, they last longer than other, but this day by the lake went too fast.” -Rilo Kiley

By November 24, 2014 Family and Friends, Just Me

On Saturday, I woke up before the bounce of Harper’s knees hit my mattress. If you know me, you’d know I’m not much of a morning person. I need at least 20 minutes between the first flutter of my eyelids and the moment someone decides to speak in my general direction and I rarely stir without being prodded. But that day, I woke feeling fragile and young and nervous.

The weekend prior, I had received a digital olive branch, a Facebook message from a girl I had gone to college with. She was actually the first friend I ever made when I moved to San Diego.  We lived on opposite wings of our dorm’s 8th floor; after freshman year we moved in together, and shared a wall for a while. For a time we were very close and it is safe to say there are some things I whispered to her in the dark safety of  our apartment, things about me that I’ve never mustered the courage to utter to anyone else.  She was more than a girl, she was a dear, dear friend. She was going to be in my town, just for 48 hours and she wanted to meet for coffee. Meet me for coffee. She left a number where she could be reached.

And so yes, on this morning I woke up before my little blonde alarm.  I crawled out of bed, careful not to wake up Guy. I  brushed my teeth and I thought about nights in her Ford station wagon blasting Rilo Kiley and quiet moments spent perched on the counters in the kitchen, swinging feet thumping against closed cupboard doors.  I recalled camping trips in the mountains, root beer floats in Baker, steaks fit for lumberjacks instead of a night at the ballet,  dance parties and getting drunk on too much Captain Morgan’s. But mostly I thought about how quickly I had severed ties and how fervently I put a distance between us and how the last time I saw her was because we ran into each other at Target, five years ago.

It felt like I was going on a date, I changed my outfit twice, took my wedding ring off because it didn’t match my necklace only to put it back on again. Thought about what I would talk about and what I wouldn’t.  I promised myself I wouldn’t talk too much. I drank three cups of tea and I checked my email six times. I got Harper dressed for dance class and I waited for her to text me to cancel, even though that was always my move and not hers.  And then I left early to meet her because I didn’t want to be late.

It was an immensely enjoyable meal, good simple food, poached eggs and a hollandaise sauce  that didn’t break, hot coffee, the gift  two hours to share with someone I wasn’t sure I’d see again. We feel into a painfully familiar pattern and I completely forgot my list of approved conversation topics by the time I had ordered.  It was easy and comforting and it made me happy but it also made me sad because I wasted so much time and effort being proud and put out and feeling victimized that by the time I figured out I was wrong, I felt like there was no way to turn back.

I can’t let go of the history we don’t share, the gaps in what could be our collective past. I didn’t invite her to my wedding, she’s only spent 90 seconds with my daughter who is undeniably the most important person in my life. We’ve never gone of a trip to reunite with our mutual college roommates or booked a weekend in Palm Springs.  But, I’ll take coffee in San Diego’s November sunshine. I’ll take what I can get, as graciously as I know how, because my friends are always better people than I am and that day by the lake went too fast.

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