Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Medicine Woman I want to be

The Village Wise Woman

The words of Wisdom are on her tongue
The law of Kindness flows from her mouth
Dressed in her finery, clothed in the past
Eyes turned to the future, her heart ever present in the here and now
She walks between the worlds.
Calico apron draped across her tie dyed skirts
Lace handkerchief tucked up her tunic sleeve
Her head is wrapped in a cotton crown, leather sandals on her feet
Close to the earth, she listens
Close to the heavens, she soars!
Lavender and dandelion speak of their magic
Yarrow and plantain teach her of love
Owl and chickadee are her friends
Hawk and crow her guides
Butterfly her comfort
Dancing through hoops, spinning with fire, living beneath the cottonwood trees
She weaves her crystal ball through the loom of her life
And though she walks in harmony with all
Her sword is in it's sheath, her hand upon it's hilt
Warrior she is, when it is necessary.

By: The Village Wise woman's not so distant manifestation


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Friday, April 22, 2011

Celebrating Passover, Dreaming of Freedom, Starting the Revolution

I have finally begun to enjoy my Pesach/Passover celebrations. Prior to this enjoyment I was an angry, resentful, and none to eager participant in the preparation let alone the celebration. All ofthe preparations and cleaning and turning upside down one's home to search for chometz has been working my nerves for the past couple of years, and even more so this year. Now mind you, we are not near as "in depth" as many people, following a more letter of the law practice than all the extra chumras that some of my Tribe take on, but feeling the time constraints and attention to detail that this holiday demands was, nonetheless, beginning to wear at me.

Finally, with the couldn't-been-done-without-her daughter doing cleaning over the week, we finished on Sunday and were actually ready for the holiday the earliest we have ever been. I had decided earlier, since I only have one child at home and wasn't sure who actually would be present, to make plans to celebrate the seders in other peoples homes. I must say, they did much to flip my attitude. The first seder was quiet and meaningful with people we dearly care for. The food quite delicious and proof that the simplest of foods, without extra spices or whatnot, make for delicious and warm meals. Love truly is the most needful ingredient. The second seder was happily spent with extended family and my son so needless to say, my mother's heart was overjoyed! We enjoyed other meals out with two of my students families and they were equally wonderful.
Of course the point of all these mealtime celebrations, is freedom, particularly freedom from slavery. We use cushions, lean to the left, drinks lots of wine to remind us we are a free people. This really has gotten me thinking about what slavery and freedom really means. What exactly is freedom? Lack of ownership? Lack of restraints? Absence of boundaries? Absence of limitations? Opportunities? Choices?

"Emancipate yourself from Mental Slavery. None but ourselves can free our mind."~Bob Marley

With all this thoughtfulness I decided that now would be an appropriate time to make resolutions to myself. Resolutions focused on being Free.

I want to free myself to be who I truly am. I cannot even explain what that means, as I am in constant discovery of who I am, but simply put, I want to be free to be that person at each moment, without apology to myself or others.

I want to be free to choose healthy foods and not be enslaved to what my emotions want to eat. I want to nourish my body without then becoming a slave to a particular diet or food program. I want to enjoy the food I eat and simply eat to live.

Worry is slavery.
Fear is slavery.
Lack of control is slavery.

I want to be free from all these things. I want to love and experience each moment as it comes. I want to feel great emotion and not chastise myself for it afterwards. I want to truly understand that there is a real difference between lack of control and passionate living! I want to live Passionately!


I want to be free of obligation. That is a mouthful coming from me, I know. But I am beginning to believe their is a huge difference between obligation and response-ability.

ob·li·ga·tion

1. An act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment.
2. The condition of being morally or legally bound to do something.

    re·spon·si·bil·i·ty
    1.The state or fact of being accountable.
    2.The opportunity or ability to act independently and make decisions without authorization.
    3.A moral obligation to behave correctly toward or in respect of.

    Mind you, I picked those particular definitions to suit me, but they better explained my point. Response-ability, the ability and desire to respond to a person, situation, cause etc. is freedom! I take upon myself responsibility, and I respond happily in a healthy manner. I am not obliged to do this or that, but am living my life and responding to it. I admit, I could be performing word gymnastics here, but I suppose that is how all revolutions start, with a word or a catch phrase
    to hold on to and inspire.

    "You tell me it's the institution, well you know, you better free your mind instead." ~John Lennon

    Speaking of the Revolution, I realize that the revolution had to start within myself and my mind. Here I am thinking I am starting a revolution, but truly I need to revolt within myself first. I think this is the most challenging. To change and free my own mind!

    "But the multitude among them began to have strong cravings. Then even the children of Israel once again began to cry, and they said, "Who will feed us meat? We remember the fish that we ate in Egypt free of charge, the cucumbers, the watermelons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic." ~Bamidbar/Numbers 11:4-5

    We, all of us, are still very much slaves. Slaves to systems, ideologies, past experiences etc., that keep us tame and sedated. The sedation, I think we can shake off, but once we are fully awake then what? What happens then? We are free and awake but to what? How do we shake off the 'slave mentality'? As we see above, the Torah clearly relates the stories of the children of Israel and their continued desire for their 'comforts of slavery'. Is this simply our nature now? Have we forgotten or have we even ever known what it is to free and response-able? Once freed from any given situation or person will we naturally seek to enslave ourselves to another system, emotion, belief?
    If I would unfetter myself and become my authentic wild self, who will I be? What will it mean to relinquish the bondages that I have accumulated along the way and to start the revolution within myself and to allow anarchy within my own being.To honestly be response-able to myself, others and the world around me? What will it mean to live a life fully awake and live each and every moment wild and free?

    It is all at once, indeed, frightening and exciting. But to be wild is to grow and become all what one should be. The wild expensiveness of the Universe is all too awesome to try to understand. The beauty of a wild countryside, mountain range etc., is more than the soul can even consume. The earth as it was and in places still is.

    It's not too late, you know. Land is constantly being set free, re-wilded, maybe people can be too.

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    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    Penny Pak Ponderings

    Yesterday my youngest daughter and I went for a long overdue walk into Penny Pak Park. I have now officially seen each season in the park. This past winter was my first snowy sojourn into the park. I realized yesterday though, that it is necessary to my good health to be a much more frequent visitor to the Park, particularly since it is truly the largest natural haven here in my neighborhood. There is so much happening there right now I was slightly overwhelmed by it all. I discovered cottonwood trees with their soft buds poking up. I saw young patches of nettle and violets. There were also many other plants, but sadly I only knew a small handful by name. Those that I could identify, I joyfully shared with my daughter. Another realization I had was, I needed to become the teacher I want. Therefore the bits of knowledge that I do have, I must share or they will become lost. So I showed her the cottonwood buds and invited her to touch and feel their softness. Instructed to stay clear of the nettle patches, pointed out shepherd's purse with their adorable heart shaped seedpods. We talked of violets and pansies and all the food that was growing there in the park.

    Finally we sat for a bit and watched a beetle as it ambled down the macadam pathway. She (yes, we decided she was surely feminine) has us a bit worried as she was on her way since there were many dangers on her route of choice. Walkers, joggers, bikers to name a few. We struggled with whether or not we should move her out of the way, or if it was better to let her go her own way. We watched and were very curious to discover that as slowly as she traveled and in a seemingly indecisive manner, she made it. Her slowness of gait enabled the few observant humans walking by to stop and admire her a bit. She had quite a few near misses which caused us to look away and flinch a bit. (yes, we actually cared about the outcome of this beetle) In fact, in spite of all the near misses she made it and without any of our assistance.

    All this beetle watching spawned the inevitable spiritual discussion between us. Did she think that this is how G-d is with us? Are we simply like this beetle travelling along the path? Does the Universe simply allow us to go our way as indecisively as Miss Beetle? When and/or does the the Universe intervene? Should the Creator intervene at all?

    We came to no conclusions and had no answers. We believe Miss Beetle came to teach us to observe and to ask questions. She was quite captivating and in the end, she made it safely to the other side.
    As I hope and pray, we all will too.

    There are no pictures as it was a holiday, but I am committing myself to getting to Penny Pak more often and documenting my findings and perhaps, if I am able, do a little wildcrafting.

    Note: as a fan of alliteration I could very well have added the words "Peaceful Pesach/Passover" to the above title but refrained from doing so. Much like my friends who adore puns, the tendency to go overboard is always tempting and restraint is mostly appreciated. °Ü°

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