Monday, December 31, 2012

I was not kidding, a couple of blogs ago, when I detailed my New Year's Eve tradition as being generally alone and bitter.  I am home with the boys tonight, getting ready to feed them doggie benadryl so that they don't have a psychotic break when the fireworks start.

I am also pondering the merits of resolutions tonight- on the night when we most often try to set absurd goals for ourselves.  I resolve.. no more pretense.  No more pretending.  I also resolve to not be myself anymore.  I know that everyone likes to think that they want to be more themselves, to be a better version of themselves.  I just want to be someone else.

To all, a Happy New Year.

To me... a different one.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Conversation- A Crisis

This morning I asked the Gypsy King, from whom I have inherited oh so many traits, just how much he had to do with naming me.  I don't know why it only struck me today- but I have never bothered asking him what role he had to do with illustrious, ancient, entitling of the Little Witch.

We Gypsies Roam, We Wander
And We Occasionally Drink While Roaming
and Wandering.
He is, after all, my father- he supplied a significant amount of chromosomes to my unique DNA concoction, spent the 9 months of my gestation dealing with my mother, my elder brother, and a 105 pound Irish Setter and, of course, he was present at my birth (I assume).  He has been here for the previous 29 years.  He is my King, my Hero, the Bob.

His response to my quandary of "Daddy, was Kathrine at the top of your list for names for me?" was "No."

"Oh.  Well.. what was?"

"Amber."

"Oh.  Were there any other  names?"

"I don't remember, that was almost thirty years ago!" (This brings me to a wee digression- HOLY BANANAS I AM ALMOST THIRTY YEARS OLD.  And what do I have to show for it?  Scars, Debt, and Destruction. I have nearly thirty years of self-debasement under my belt, two higher degrees, and double jointed shoulders.  Those... I got from my mother.)

Cringing both internally and externally I asked... "Um, was Kathrine even on your list?"

"No." (Oh the things you learn when you ask perfectly unreasonable questions).

Well hell.  The man who inadvertently bequeathed me wanderlust, a distinctly European set of features, and a desperate desire to KNOW and GO amongst other things... alas, his most profound role in my  naming was to argue with my mother on a technicality of the spelling (a second digression- the King lost the argument- it's hard to trump a woman who has  recently delivered a watermelon-sized child through a grape-width wee canal- which has ultimately led to the eternal misspelling of my name).  And it wasn't even on his list of choices!  What's in a name? An Identity?  A Distinction?  A connection to the namers?  And if so... how could I have received so much from the King who apparently was reluctant to name me my name?!?!

Needless to say I had a minuscule existential crisis based on this one conversation.

But in the end the end it's just that.  It is what it is.  A name is a name.  A person is a person is a person- regardless of the name and perhaps because of it.  I have grown into it, we all grow into our own, I think.  I am a Kathrine, a Kate, a [insert any of the embarrassing nicknames my family has called me over the years].  I am middle-name-less and decidedly more interesting because of it.  My father is the Bob, the King of the Gypsies, Robert Albert.  My mother is Momma, the Witch who Makes Things Live, Maureen.

We are who we are, existential crisis or no.  Naming or not.

Until Next time, Friends...

Kathrine, TheBobsDottir


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

I have called myself so very many things- the Winter Witch, the Yule Witch, the Green Witch.

Tonight I am the daughter.  Tonight I am a girl at home with her parents on Christmas, enjoying a tree steeped in tradition, a hot coffee and a dog with a bell on his collar.

Tonight I am the White Witch who Only Loves, who only feels gracefulness and gratefulness.

Happy Yuletide, all my Loves.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Pre-Christmas Shenanigans- a Photo Blog


How the Bob Stole Christmas...

I kid you not- this is exactly what a Seyfried Family
pre-Christmas trip to Atlanta looks like.  Cards
everywhere... in fact... this is what
most Seyfried Family Gatherings look like... 
And when it comes to cards... we are some serious women.
If it weren't for the age, size, and gender differences...
my papa and his eldest sister could be twins. 

Look carefully and you will see the tankard of wine next to me. 


Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter Solstice

Today- the Winter Solstice.

I planned on expounding about the nature of darkness in nature- but instead, in the spirit of the shortest day of sunlight during this year, I will keep it short, sweet, and to the point. 

Happy Yule (in it's original language- 'God Jule')- take time today to revel in stillness and silence.  Take time to be with your family, your cosmic, natural, adopted whole family- either in spirit or in person.  And appreciate that from this point forward, all things will be light. 

Happy Yule, Happy Happy Yule.  Happy Solstice. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Quote-

'You might try then, as I did, to find a sky so full of stars it will blind you again.  Only no sky can blind you now.'

-- Mark Z. Danielewski-- House of Leaves

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December Obsessions

On this most absurd of days, I give you December's Obsessions- those things keeping me warm and satisfied in a season of cold.

Firstly- absurd calendar dates- 12.12.12.  12.21.12.  I mean... come on.  How silly can we get before vaulting into the range of completely insane?  Not that as a group humans have not reached the completely insane point.  But these arbitrary moments in time are wreaking so much havoc on our wee brains... it has actually become comedic.  The only thing I will give December 21, 2012 is the Winter Solstice this year.

But moving on...

Mysticism.  How much I adore mysticism.  This is a year-round obsession for me.  In December, however, mysticism coalesces into something tangible- the best 'linkable' example of this is Patti Smith's insanely hypnotic rendition of 'We Three Kings.'  Consider this lyric:

myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
breathes of life of gathering gloom
sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying
sealed in the stone-cold tomb

It reeks of Orientalism, profound belief, distress, and protection.  It provides an unusual combination of cultural and spiritual.  It is Mystical. 

http://www.kayak.com.  For all of my traveling dreams and schemes. 

Kings.  Kings.  Kings.  I am very much obsessed with Kings right now.  This is the season of Kings- even for the Witches- for this time of year marks the changing of the guard between the Holly King (who has ruled during the increasingly dark days) and the Oak King (who will usher us into Spring and Summer).  The Weather Kings, King Pigeon, Kings Kings Kings.  

I cannot explain this dear feeling I have for such legends and nonesuch during this time of year.  Kings become so much more important during the turning of the seasons.  Especially during Yuletide when Kings should come to represent justice, grace, and otherworldly transitions. 

Also- Looking like a Girl.  A real girl.  Something has gotten into me- and I am becoming slightly antsy to wear things other than jeans and techwick t-shirts.  The the point that I sported this dress to see the Nutcracker this past Sunday with Mom.  Yes- J. Crew should get it's own obsessions blog.  

Books!  Which isn't exactly fair... I read all the time.  Every day.  But I tend to read seasonally- darker, denser books during winter; nonfiction in the spring and fall; for the summer- anything goes but especially delicious foreign novels.  It's a bit odd, I grant you that.. but I never claimed to be anything but.  My dear Aunt Patricia (my father's eldest sister) and I constantly exchange book ideas and give each other 'to-read' ideas.  I blame her for the pile, thirty-deep, of books sitting on my floor waiting to be read.  I also thank her for her excellent taste in literature which I have come to rely on for bang-up books

Finally, for now, the stray cat living in my neighborhood.  He breaks my heart everyday, with his wounded, scarred face and charming disposition.  I am indeed in danger of adopting him.  I have already decided on a name... 

And until next time, my cheery dearies!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Blue Blue Christmas

"I'll have a blue blue Christmas..." or so the song goes.

I cannot count the number of people who seem blue this Christmas season.  I am including myself in this number even though for me it is Yule Season.  There is something strange about the December Holidays that simultaneously delights and saddens.  Something melancholic- something bittersweet and alive with feeling.

We yearn, we want, we love, we grieve, we give, we live- and it all culminates in this one stretch of the winter months.  And from all of these emotions spring the bittersweet of the season; from all of these emotions spring feelings so tangible and heartbreaking- and heart-healing- that we cannot help but be taken aback and quiet, mesmerized by them.

The dark, winter months are always a time for mesmerization.  They encourage the internal witness to actually witness what happens internally, intuitively.  This internalization, this intent focus, causes the blueness- of that I am sure.

I am also sure that the melancholic blue is as natural as the sunrise and sunset.  It is as natural as the midnight blue of deep, dark evening.

Embrace it, but embrace the holidays as well.

Don't forget the good stuff, Loves.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Somewhere in the World of Siblings...

I will be the first one to admit that my brother and I have not had the smoothest of relationships over the years.

We have fought, rumbled, gnashed our teeth at each other... Oi.  Not the smoothest of relationships at all.  In fact, there was a time when, if you looked up 'dysfunctional sibling relationship' you would find a photo of my brother and I.  Pick a photo of our childhood- you'll see it.  The evil gleam, the look of terror...

We lived to destroy each other.

But lately things have been changing.  I recently witnessed a beautiful metamorphosis in my brother.  This guy, this boy, who has always been the only person who could make me angry enough to yell; this guy who brotherly made my life a living hell for the first significant portion of it; this BROTHER of mine... well...

He is growing up.  I look at my brother now and feel such love for the man he is becoming- it astounds even me.  He loves someone (my new Sis, Tracey) so profoundly that he is learning responsibility and selflessness.  SELFLESSNESS.

It is beautiful.  And it makes me so proud.

To witness personal growth is something unusual and (for me) cherished.  Robert grows and grows and grows each day; becoming more a man, more a brother, and more a son.  He may even run the risk of becoming one of my (most illustrious) partners in crime.  I adore this brother of mine, this blood that we share.

Until next time, my Dears!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Gratefulness (Potentially Part 1?)

*Fair Warning* I gave you sly and silly yesterday, I give you sappy and reputation ruining today.  

This blog has been building in me for a while.  This year has been difficult, to say the least, and I have a great deal for which to be grateful.  But today Clarity and Honesty Reign.  And to be clear, to be bluntly honest, there is nothing on this earth for which I am more thankful than my parents.

Here and there I hinted on their strength and importance in my life.  Here and there I have recommended benediction, medals, Knighthoods, even the renaming of the planet in honor of my Father.  

My father.  He is- in honor of his linear practicality and calm, quiet presence- my constant.  My father is my Magnetic North; my gravity; my PI.  He grounds me, challenges me, and listens to me even when I make no sense (which, yes, is more often than not). He never gets excited but his love (don't tell him I said this ;)) runs deep and immensely powerful.  In one of my sappier (and probably slightly drunk) moments I told him that he is, beyond doubt, the love of my life.  He is my hero and my heart.  

And his ability to 'handle' my mother and I constantly confounds me.  

Because where my beloved father is my constant, my most cherished mother is my Touchstone.  She is my best friend, and my greatest, most giving teacher.  I don't quite know how to describe my  mother to those who don't know her or who have never met her.  She brings life to everything she touches.  She brought life to me and brings life to me.  She has kept me alive during a time when I would have happily crawled into nothingness.  And she has a magical ability to smile through it all. 

They both LOVE.  

And I love.  And I love them.

Until next blog!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks: A Happily Composed Obsessions List

Of course in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I wanted to post a couple of new obsessions for which I give Many Many Many Thanks.

Enjoy.

So I know that I am a little slow on the uptake- the album has been out for a while now- but Battle Born.  Oh my stars, Battle Born.  While I am admittedly such a sucker for the Killers, this album in particular has vaulted me beyond my normal dork-dome into something else entirely.  They are already my pop music junk food.  But Brandon Flowers here is tried and true Vegas, so show-y and heartbreaking; vibrancy and flash.

This next obsession started just as Josh Elliot.  Then it morphed into Josh Elliot and Sam Champion.   Then it grew even further: Josh Elliot, Sam Champion, Robin Roberts.  Then I added Diane Sawyer and David Muir.  And Dan Harris.  So basically I have realized that my obsession is the entire ABC News Team.  They are a divinely gathered group of informational powerhouses who make me smile, yell; who provoke my insanity and intellect.  Plus David Muir is a hottie and for whatever reason Diane Sawyer has always reminded me of my Aunt Nancy.

Two words:  Billy Burke.  Not because he is Bella Swan's dad in the Twilight Series and not because he is charming as Uncle Miles in Revolution (another potential obsession for a later date).  But because he is just so bloody cool.  And his brown eyes are oh so very very pretty.

This show- I cannot WAIT to see how this plays out.  December 12th, can you get here any sooner?

Okay kids.  I think that is all for now.  A short list for I desperately need to do prep work for Thanksgiving.

Much love, and talk to you tomorrow...


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pinocchio

-Or- The Anorexic Decides to Become a Real Girl -

Yes, that is the title, and that is where we are going in this blog.  First, let me begin my mentioning that my weird adoration of fairytales has sprung back into the forefront of my mind from the adolescent recesses.  It could be a fault of the proliferation of TV series based on retelling of classic tales.  It may just be my love of other-worldliness.  I mean, come on, I'm a witch who likes to identify alternately with Little Red Riding Hood, Druids, and Wolfs.  Seriously seriously stuck in the clouds.

The point is- hence, Pinocchio.

Second, let me get to the big point.

A couple of weeks ago I finally remembered that I am surrounded by the most amazing network of people.  People who love me (she types with a tone of wonder and awe).  Me.  Crotchety, mean, witchy, snarky, sad, sick Kate.  ME.  And they seem to love me regardless of those aforementioned qualities.  My parents, my extended family, my Fairy Godmothers (the Haloed-Triumvirate), my friends.  Even though I have defiantly and at times even gleefully starved myself to the point of probable hospitalization over the past year and couple of months.  Even though I have yelled, wept, gnashed my teeth and gnawed at the soul of that network.  Even though I have brutally and unabashedly alienated everyone at some point and categorically walled myself away at others.

You still love me (she still types with wonder and awe and now gratefulness.  Teary-eyed gratefulness).

I don't get it, necessarily, but I have FINALLY accepted it and have allowed myself to be changed by it.  This transformation began about two weeks ago (remember that wedding-thingy?), when my entire family gathered and I was struck by witnessing physically the connections between my family members, and my family and myself. I was struck by the fact that I laughed harder than I have laughed in that year and couple of months- that I smiled.  Repeatedly.  And honestly.  And I danced and sang and hugged and loved.

And I was struck by the fact that I wanted to continue laughing; to continue smiling.  I want to dance and sing and hug and love everyday for the rest of my decidedly strange life.

So I sat my parents down this past weekend, my parents who deserve medals and potentially benediction for surviving my disease along with me, and said "I'm done.  I'm done with all of this.  I want to be a real girl again." (Again, hence Pinocchio).

It's not going to be easy or overnight- by any means.  We all know that.  But at least it has begun- the wooden-hearted girl  living in some sub-reality of a half life is beginning to find her flesh again and surface into a whole real-life.  In more ways than one.

I love you all.  Friends, Fairies, Family.  And I am sorry for what I put you through.  I am sorry that my pain bled into your lives for so long.  But I am so grateful to be loved.  You haven't a clue.

Until next time.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Blog About a Wedding

Of course I was always going to blog about my brother's wedding.  But I needed time to digest it all before trying to express it all.  Plus I was the best man.  And consider this- over the course of about an hour, my brother became a husband, my parents became in-laws, and I became a sister for a second time.

And I do not believe that I have ever felt closer to my brother than I did this weekend.

I know that I am constantly trying to play it cool- and suave- but I will be honest when it is called for.  I am a complete and utter sap when it comes to this stuff- as you will understand as you read on and I lose all of my street cred as a bad ass witch-druid.  But I digress to try and save my reputation... I love weddings.  I do.  They truly engender a constant and warming feeling of love.  Families and friends coming together to celebrate the next step of a relationship between two people.  Two very loved and exceedingly cherished people.

I have never seen a more beautiful bride than my new Sis, Tracy.  It was the Kate Middleton moment for me- Tracy kept her dress to herself until the very last moment.  And when she appeared I do believe the collective gasp barely covered the fact that my brother's heart may have skipped several beats.  What perfection she was and is.  And my brother... my brother was brilliant on his wedding day.  He was silly, sweet, and responsible in a way that I am entirely un-used to. They were both just the best.

(I know this is getting worse and worse.  I really am a total cheese-ball.)

Then there were my parents.  Both looked retro and chic and divinely happy.  My father, as usual, lorded over the ceremony like the Most-Interesting-Man-In-The-World that he is while my mother glowed with the luminous knowledge that her kid would be a husband.  How overwhelmed was I this weekend?

It is always strange to me, this occasion of matrimony.  I look at my parents, my friends who are married and now my brother and sister-in-law, and I always find myself thinking about the ring and how it... well.... everything changes but nothing changes at all.  These stages in our lives, signaled by these rings or whatever other mementos we embrace, enhance who and what we are; they give us stories to tell and memories to have and share.  They give us life.

And love.

And true happiness.

All of my love to all of my family, my friends, and my fellows.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy New Year

Ever since I was a wee lass, I have quite merrily and contrarily loathed New Years Eve.  I tell anyone who asks about the inanity of celebrating this one random day that really signifies nothing in the grand scheme of things.  In typical crotchety fashion, I stay home every December 31st.  I sit with my dogs, usually by myself, and watch bad movies.  My parents are generally the only ones who bother to call and brave my usually foul mood to wish me a Happy New Year.

Well well, silly Kate, Little Witch.  In typically late fashion, I finally figured out exactly why I have such a peculiar aversion to the socially traditional New Years (Eve).

Because it's not my New Years (Eve).

Samhain is New Years Eve for us witches- Samhain, Halloween, this most delicious of days and sweetest of nights is the beginning of the year-cycle for us old souls.  It is this moment in time when the natural calendar resets itself and we are given a chance to reset ourselves in very real, very profound way.  This New Years is about shoring up before the dark season and having one lovely celebration of the passing of time, life, and night.

So it all makes sense now, right?  This is the time of my rebirth- the rebirth of my beliefs, my year, my time and my Self.   This is the time of intention-setting and making resolves; this is the time of giving thanks for all the experiences that we have had and looking forward to all the experiences yet to come.  

I know that I often get a bit silly about this stuff, and I often get a bit out of hand when it comes to what, who, and how I believe.  And there are so many reasons for my silliness and my out-of-handedness.  The wildness within me drives most of my nonsense.  But New Years (Eve)?  Well, sorted- we finally have the answer to my crankiness and forever grumpiness on December 31.  Done and Done.  Explained.  

I wish you all, then, a Very Happy New Year; a Very Happy Halloween; a Very Very Soulful Joyful Samhain.  

Until next time, my Pretties!



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Something Wicked This Way Comes

When (if he did indeed) Shakespeare wrote Macbeth, he allowed for a trio of unusually sinister women to make their appearances as witches.  Witches!

And so witches continue their place in history as slightly off-center, slightly evil, creatures existing within both the natural and supernatural worlds.

I just want to pause, gather myself, and then yell at everyone who dares categorize witches with the same antiquated 'evil' ideas of yesteryear.  Off-center and evil?!?  No.  Duality of natural and supernatural?... okay, well...  Yes.

Sorry to be a pain about this- but I am a witch.  And I am constantly in a state of preponderance as to whether or not people actually understand what that means.

Let this stand as a sort of micromanifesto- a wee pre-Samhain synopsis of what exactly I am (or am not for that matter):

I am a witch.

I am not Wicca.

I am not Pagan.

I do not run around worshipping dark lords or setting spells against people.

I do run around outside pausing frequently to thank nature for existing, for fighting against modern infringement of society.

I choose to be responsible for myself and my practice.

I choose to be aware of both myself and my practice with discretion, distinction, and graciousness.

Something wicked does NOT this way come- something wild does.  Something wild, ancient, and ever-evolving.  For that is the nature of the witch and witchcraft.  We evolve, we grow, we create new traditions, new meanings, and new circles of knowledge.

So get over it.  I'm not going to sacrifice a goat in front of you and yours.  In fact, goats kind of creep me out and the less I have to do with them... probably the better.

Until next time, dearhearts...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

...

I am staring at the blinking cursor on this stupid screen and have been for about 20 minutes now, unsure of what to say.  These are my final moments in Iceland and speechlessness has descended on my already muted ability to describe my experiences here.  I sit and drink a coffee, listen to the conversations happening around me (judge the people having them :)) and wonder how to relate what has become not a trip, not an adventure, but a Moment.  A moment out of time and space- contained only by the boundaries of this island nation.

It is not easy.

Of all of the impossible expectations I have created throughout my life- of all of the romantic fantasies I have concocted- this is one of the few to not just live up to but exceed it's very idea (that sentence is impossibly grammatically disastrous- go with it).  That in itself seems like a cosmic impossibility- but it happened.  Somehow this experience became more than my desire for it.  Somehow I made it through without fading into the fantasy.  People keep asking  me what my favorite part of the trip has been... and there is only one thing I can tell them.

Iceland.

On this note, I return to the States, hoping against all hope that I can translate this world into that one.  I know I cannot do it fully, but I can certainly try to parlay some part of the Moment into the Constant.

Until a wee bit later, my darlings my dears my tethers...


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Page From My Journal*

*I wrote this today, after having time to fully digest last night's events.  It's pretty personal so bear with  me and try not to judge too harshly my obsessed madness.  All punctuation and emphasis remains exactly as it appears hand-written in my Iceland-2012 Diary.

-- A Note on the Northern Lights --

I am interrupting the day-to-day flow of the constant travel journey in order to pay some serious attention to the Aurora Borealis.

Last night I accomplished a task on my "Must Do Before I Die" List.

I saw the Northern Lights.  I saw them.

I looked up in the sky and was overwhelmed by their gentle, undulating beauty.  Their graceful presence appeared and covered me like a blanket on a cold night.

What I saw... white lights in the dome of the sky.  No huge colors (that normally only happens on film anyway).  No screaming greens, no violent violets.  Just lovely, easy, silent white.  White caps in the sea of the sky.

WHITE CAPS IN THE SKY. 

And while everyone else scurried to snap photos and set their shutter speeds, I stood and looked.  I stared and thanked whatever force beyond knowing allowed me to have this one moment in time.

Because to me they were more than the Northern Lights- the Aurora Borealis.  They were ether.  They are ether(eal).

They were, they are, the physical representation of that unknown substance which connects us all in the witchy world and the ultra-universe.

The light are wisdom- consciousness- collected but uncontrolled unity of forces.

And they dance. 

My god- they dance in the sky like sprites and then erupt into volcanic brilliance.  They are everything- They. Are. Ether. 

Thank you, again, whoever-whatever-however is out there.  I am eternally yours.  

I have seen the Northern Lights


And They Do Dance. 


Friday, October 12, 2012

In the Valley of the Sagas

When I was much younger, and still believed in the kind of love that 'conquers' and 'overcomes' all, I read a piece of Icelandic literature called The Saga of the Volsungs.  I can pinpoint the beginning of my obsession with Iceland to one line in that translation (the cheap-o Penguin version if you are wondering):

Something else is closer to the truth.  I love you more than myself.  

The hero says that to the tragic heroine after she makes some wild confession of ill-done deeds and moans that he must hate her.  

That line.  Those words.  

To my young mind there was nothing more romantic, more chivalrous, more perfectly earth-shattering than that moment in that saga.  I was done for.  All I could think was 'I must go to a place that produces words like that; characters like those.'  And from there my desire to journey to Iceland only grew.  It swelled into an often unmanageable beast running around my insides and causing me to gaze longingly at photos of the Northern Lights and Ice-Capped mountains for uncountable minutes.  Of course that beastly desire ebbed and flowed with the tides of my individual growth.  Sometimes it was Iceland, other times New Zealand or Argentina; Italy or Turkey.  You name it and could (can) give you a reason for needing to be in that culture or country or whatever.  

But today.. today it all paid off.  As I drove through Western Iceland I found myself near the Laxardalshals region, on the Laxa River.  It means nothing to most.  It means everything to me.  It is the Valley of the Sagas- the home of so many characters I have bled for and torn my hair over.  I clawed through translations, devouring passionate stories of love, pain, murder, magic.  And there I was today, in the heart of it all.  

Have you ever had a moment when you completely forget to breathe?  When nothing seems real because nothing real is so perfect as that moment?

That was my today- all day.  

Until next time... 


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Necro...Wait, What?!?

Tomorrow you can have poignant.  Today you get the completely absurd.

Let's begin at the beginning... The reason that I grit my teeth and rented a car at an astronomical fee and trekked (through rain and gravel mind you) all the way out into Iceland's version of the Land that Time Forgot was to see a wee little museum in a wee little town.  The Icelandic Museum of Witchcraft and Sorcery is located in Holmavik- on the western side of the Westfjords.  It is a deliciously backward place where people still use buildings as directional markers.  For example- "turn right at the tiny house with the fence."  (Those exact words were actually spoken to me today).

Nevertheless, I have been itching to see this place since finding out about the museum.  We all know that I am a witch (literally, figuratively, etc. etc.)  And well, it struck my fancy, I followed my gut, and boy did it pay off.

Ladies and gentlemen-brace yourselves for I give you the infamous Only in Iceland Will You Find This Specimen....... Necropants.

Squinting will not change the image.
Yeah.  You read it.

Necropants.  Necro.  Pants.

Right now you are thinking... 'am I imagining this blog?'

Nope, I assure you, this is really happening.

Necropants are exactly what they sound like.  Pants made out of the bottom half of a recently deceased man who gave his previous permission to be posthumously dug-up and skinned from the waist-down.  Scrotum included.

Said skin-skivvies where then put on by the sorcerer who originally attained the aforementioned permission and essentially became a good-luck pair of bottoms.  Especially if that sorcerer remembered to shove a coin into the included scrotum- He would then have wealth and power for as long as he lived.

Still, I assure you, this is really happening.  It took an act of truly un-Kate-like discipline to keep from laughing hysterically when reading the translations of all of this.  Which was just shy of embarrassing as I was the only visitor in the Museum at the time.  In fact the curator took me through himself and answered all of my questions- oh so many that they were.

I adore this place.  I adore every last square inch of this country.

Until next time (I promise to step it up a smidge)... Enjoy the view.


Monday, October 8, 2012

A Photo Blog: Akureyri So Far

Your facebook wish is my command: a blog of photos, with some hopefully well-versed captions to guide the way.... 

I keep walking through the streets of
Iceland thinking 'this place can only
mean this much to me.'  Then I think 'but
it must be just as special to everyone else'
who has ever been here.  It has to be.'             
All over Akureyri, there are hearts.  Tiny red hearts literally painted onto buildings, widows, walls.  They are perfectly delightful- just another wonderful example of the public art you find throughout Iceland.  But hearts?  I asked young Kristjan at the desk of my hostel what the deal was... he explained that people in Akureyri wanted to see joy as well as feel it.  Then he directed me to the stoplights- where- if you look closely enough- there are hearts on red.
         This is what I imagine when
         Mom finishes yoga and says
         'Namaste Bitches' (or, as she
         would pronounce it...
         'No-ma-stay Bitches')









A note on that public art I mentioned before?  This gal is a coat rack- in the public library... which just happens to be the second largest in the nation. 

Yes, I am in fact pulling out the big guns.  Akureryi sits on the western side of a northern fjord called Eyjafjordur.  This is the view looking back toward the country from a bridge over the above mentioned fjord.  Yeah.


Just because it struck me as a hilarious reminder of the States vs. the Rest of the World... look closely at the label for the donuts in the bakery down the street... yes it does indeed read U.S.A.  As in 'that's right, these donuts are styled after those lusciously ludicrous donuts you find those cholesterol and heart disease ridden Americans eating all the time.  Tasty.

The first full day here, I took a marginally illicit tour of the botanical gardens and several things hit me head-on, like a battering ram attached to a bull.  And I was wearing red. 

First of all, here I am in the fall in the north of a northern island- and there is still all of the velvety rich color surrounding me.   Whether it is the pinks, blues, and purples of pretty little ground flowers or the blazing reds, golds and browns of the leaves turning- there is just so much vibrancy here.  It's almost painful to look at sometimes.  And even harder to capture on film.  


Secondly, as I wandered through the gardens, then through the town itself; over the days through the museums and public spaces, private spaces; navigating people and places as best as I could... Secondly I realized that the word I will use for Iceland is impossible.

This place is, quite literally, impossible.  An impossible (and impossibly perfect) duality of man and earth; the natural and the supernatural; the whimsically fantastical and the stoically rational.  Iceland, and the people in it, have claimed a part of my heart that I am happy to give them.  I have been struggling to describe all of this.. even at only halfway through my trip, I have unabashedly, embarrassingly, completely fallen head over heels with this country (the actual land), it's people, it's brilliant culture.  

It is Impossible.  

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Perils of Hostelling, Part Two:

Walking in on conversations such as this:

Guy:

"What are you afraid I'm going to take you into the woods and kill you?  Hahahaha?"

Girl that Guy clearly just met (who's first language is definitely not English):

...awkward smile/grimace.


Yeah, that was all the response he got.  I mean come on?!?!

The Perils of Hostelling

So, I know that by some rule of human decency and morality, blah blah blah, that murder is wrong.

However.  When your bunkmate at the hostel has an alarm on his phone that he refuses to a) awake to or b) turn off... well, murder becomes another story.  I'm sorry, let me clarify- when your bunkmate at the hostel has an alarm that plays 70s jazz music that would not pass for 80s elevator music that he refuses to a) awake to or b) turn off... I think we can reexamine this illegality/immorality issue.

Ah yes, the magic could not last forever.

Cheers!  And here's to a blessed night of sleep... sans alarms. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

This Whole Place is a Holy Place

As I left Reykjavik today for the first time, I found myself thinking that there is no other city on earth that has made me feel so at home in so little time.  I am by no means a city mouse so for me to admit something like that is a pretty big deal, eh?  It is, so far, a transformative place.  It astounds me, this city.    From the public art to the history... I fear that when I leave it for real, I will be somewhat troubled and long to come back to it.

For example- my flight today left from Reykjavik Domestic Airport.  I walked there.  And here is the last view I had before I entered the airport to check in:
This is not normal for a major national capitol, you know?  At least it's not in my experience.  I know the photo is similar to others I have posted but seriously... This is the view, standing outside of the airport that took me half an hour to walk to- from the other side of town.  Yeah.  It is that kind of awesome.

For now, however, I begin the second leg of my journey- in Akureyri.  A town far to the north, I have not yet been here long enough to get an impression other than cold, clean air and Wow- This is What Fjord Country Looks Like.

I suppose I will have more for you soon, Dears.

Until Then... 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Upward Falling Rain

In case you are wondering, the Weather Gods live in Iceland- and apparently are frequently at odds with each other.  This leads to some preposterous forecasts as well as spur of the moment meteorological insanity.

Both the Sun and the Wind were out in full force today- a day of sweet sweet opposites.  I was so warm, but so cold, and literally had to walk at an angle to remain upright.  I could not bear to stay inside with such perfect bright gold fall Sun... it is the sunniest day we have had so far.  But after being whipped up and down streets, into and out of traffic, and across a lake by the mistress Wind, I had to submit.

I wandered into a museum (one that will be detailed later in an already planned Iceland Top Ten list) and struck up a conversation with the front desk attendant- Kjartan- who agreed that it was indeed somewhat windy out.  Then, with a lovely smile and a sweet gleam in his brown Icelandic eye, revealed that sometimes the Wind blows so hard that if it is raining, it is raining up.

It literally rains up here.

Where do the Weather Gods live?  Here, In Heaven.

Until next time, Cheers Dears.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

All Beauty, All Over

I am having an immensely difficult time writing this blog, you should know.  Much like New Zealand often renders me speechless, apparently so does Iceland.  

I do no think that even in my most profoundly eloquent moments I could adequately describe this city of Reykjavik.  It is a bit like magic.  I walk, I glance, I am utterly enchanted.  Literally -I am under the spell of this city.  Her pull is one of Nature meets Nordics meets... Well, meets me.  

I have taken the past two days to acquaint myself with the city in all of her early fall Grandeur.  And grand she is.  Perhaps not in the traditional sense of the word- but grand she is.  I have tried endless times to capture what it is that so infuses itself in my bloodstream, what captures my imagination and breath so efficiently and entirely, about this place.  I have yet to come up with anything other than... it is a true collision.  History, Nature, Man. 

Today my goal was to see the major churches in the city, the major (religious) holy spots.  I wandered to and fro, capturing images of cathedrals and cemeteries alike.  What struck, and continues to strike me, most was this compelling notion of Man imposing on Nature to build this settlement, this city, even while nature triumphantly refuses to be imposed on.  It is a peaceful sort of odds they have achieved.  Taking, giving, enhancing, allowing.  It's beautiful to see the harmoniousness of the bargain struck.  

Potentially the best example of this is the mighty Hallgrimskirkja- that immense church so often used in magazine ads for Reykjavik.  Until you see it in person, it does seem a bit... well.. hammy, for lack of a better term.  It seems silly.  Like all this cement just plopped in the middle of town for no other purpose than to impress tourists.

Instead it is something else entirely.  It is what happens when Nordic design and sensibility collides with spirituality and religiosity.  It is immense and powerful, and so boldly Icelandic.  Seeing it up close was as moving as anything else I have experienced in my travels so far... and we all know how much it means for me to say that.  Especially considering my longstanding schism (to say the least) with organized religion.

I don't know how to describe any of this because I'm not sure I have experienced it anywhere else on earth.

Until next time, I do so hope this offers enough to keep you all coming back for more.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Early Morning, September 28

This morning I watched the sun rise in Iceland.  I watched it rise while huddled inside my fleece vest and down jacket just outside of Reykjavik International Airport in Keflavik (not to be confused with Reykjavik Domestic Airport... in Reykjavik).

And what a perfect sunrise it was.

I am having trouble deciding on a title for this post- a line of thought not entirely unrelated to the previous sentence.  I could call it 'The Perfect Sunrise,'- but no, that's too Hemingway, and too pretentious.  I could call it 'The Morning After the Sleepless Night, 30,000 Feet Above Sea Level,'- but no, that's too much a mouthful.

What I have seriously considered settling on is 'The Salt of the Earth.'  Because when you step outside of the airport, you don't just smell clean, clean, unreasonably clean! air, you smell clean air with a lick of salt riding the wind.  This is an island- of course you can smell salt.  But I believe the difference here, as opposed to any other salt-ridden air I have scented, is the age of it.  The landscape here (yes I realize the pretentiousness of this statement considering I have been 'here' not even a full 24 hours) is saturated with time, with age, with tradition and ancient meaning.  This land defines the word 'primordial.'

God how INTENSE it is.  How intense that first impression was.  To the point that it no longer qualifies as an impression but instead as an imprint that is lingering in every fiber of my being.  Yes, I am dramatic.  But let's face it- that's why you read this blog.  

And that is why you keep reading it even though (while it occasionally fronts as a travel blog) I rarely post photos.  Here I must admit that while I am dramatic, I am nothing if not brutally honest.  And in all honesty, I took incredibly shit photos today.  Which is somewhat disappointing considering I did the one touristy thing that everyone does in Iceland- I visited and had a dip in the Blue Lagoon. I even gave myself a silica mud facial.

So simple written descriptions will have to suffice again, my Friends.

Much love to you all, from my outpost here in the North.

ps. Spellcheck just suggested that while I wrote 'Keflavik', I probably meant 'Cleavage'.  Which should, realistically, be the working title of the post.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Thank You All...

Tomorrow Tomorrow...

Tomorrow I leave for a three week adventure through Iceland.  ICELAND!  This place that I have wanted to visit since I was a wee wee lass.  This place that has captured every bit of young and naive romance in my young and naive heart.

This place... THIS PLACE!!  How do I contain what I feel for Iceland and all that it stands for in my short and completely ridiculous life?  How do I not fall off the plane and kiss the chilly yet vibrant ground?  How do I not make a complete and utter fool of myself?  How do I not act the way I always act... especially when I am confronted by something that utterly fascinates, enraptures, and captures me...?

There's no way.

And yet, before I lose myself completely (and run the risk of never returning stateside...) I have to say that I have never felt more loved or more lucky than I do as my friends and family send me off on this particular traipse.  What a Life I have, what Love I receive from all those around me.

And for that I am utterly grateful- beyond what any of you could possibly imagine.

So before I go, I say Thank You.  Thank you all for having some vague impression of faith in me and my abilities.  Thank you all for your support.  For your grace and good vibes.  And most importantly, thank you all for your Love.

Your love, my love, all love.

See you soon, Kiddos. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Witches' Thanksgiving

Some call it Mabon.  But most are likely to recognize it as the Autumn Equinox.

Fall officially begins today.  And in all of it's golden glory, we witches celebrate by giving thanks for the passing of time, passing of knowledge, and the sharing that takes place.  We harvest, collect, gather, and glory in the traditions.

The fall is such a bittersweet time- there is an abundance of activity and a wealth of fine traditions... and yet it is also when the first stirrings of the cold season appear.

Regardless... Happy Thanksgiving, Friends. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Fall Favorites List

In honor of the upcoming Equinox (In case you are curious, We Witches call it Mabon) I have put together a list of my current Autumnal Obsessions...

Fall Fall Fall Flowers!  All Fall Flowers!  The first link is a testament to my Dutchness.  The second is a testament to every happy smile that crosses the path of my face in the Fall.

This song from this band.  To be honest, I like all of their songs, but this one is sweet as.

I love the weather.  I cannot provide a link to describe fall weather or how I feel about it.  But I can give you a photo.  New Hampshire in the fall a few years ago, the clouds curling over the mountains, the sun still shining golden enough to illuminate the perfect trees in their perfect transition.  I cannot even begin to convey how much of my breath has been stolen by Autumn and her weather, how much of my spirit is linked to this perfect time of year.

Iceland.  There will be much more blogging of this obsession to come starting late next week.

Peridot.  I think I am attracted to the fern-esque green of the stone- it is so clear and so crisp and so... almost lemony green.  Go with me on that one.  It's not for lack of trying.

Telling Stories.  Always telling stories.

WITCHES!!

I am utterly digging on this blog.  She has outstanding advice for the worthy traveller.  And she has killer posts on Iceland (see the aforementioned obsession).

These companies.  The shoes they produce are balanced, beautiful, brilliant!  The perfect companions for my gnarly yogic/running/beat up tootsies.

Finally, even though I am admittedly a complete and utter book fiend (I normally use the term 'whore' here), I have developed a deliciously guilty television pleasure.  It's called Copper.

Until next time, Friends.
Cheers. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Countdown Beginneth

In exactly two weeks I will be somewhere high above the Northern Atlantic Ocean, on my way to Iceland.

In exactly two weeks I will be doing what I do best- running running running.  Running away from everyone, everything, everything!

And Away We Go!

This is the first time in a long time that I will travel on my own.  Totally without contacts or support.  In a land far far away where English speaking is hilariously awesome and widespread but still not the main language.  In a land far far away with ice sheets and volcanoes, with trolls and witches, with perfection.  And in this land far far away I hope for one thing- to be set free.

Almost time to pack, friends.

Until Next Time. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

How September Starts

... oh September.  My birth month.  The birth month of three of my four grandparents; the birth month of the fall; the eternal beginning and end.  This particular September is beginning with both good times and bad times.  

This is the Life Eternal
These are the Gates to Heaven
As September begins, my grandmother Isabel lay in the hospital, slowly giving up a long battle.  And here I am something like 400 miles away, leaning on my father for his strength, and looking to the earth for love, comfort, and reassurance.  

That life goes on.  That love goes on.  That movement between the physical and spiritual is worth the journey.  And that the journey is worth the end game- regardless of how that game plays out.

As September began, Dad and I hiked to the Natural Bridge... a beautiful start to my month... during our trip through Kentucky.  What I saw, heard, smelled, and felt allowed me to believe that the world, no matter what, is still so beautiful, so restorative.  I am bolstered by the idea that my grandmother will return to this Earth; that she will be at peace in Nature and that Mother Nature will take care of her.  

This is a beautiful world.  And we are all given to and received from it.  

Until next time, Much love, my Loves.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Blue Moon- or- What it is About the Mountains

Dad and I have undertaken a road trip for this holiday weekend.  Since he's The Bob and the Boss, we took his car- a stick shift.  And since I'm the Kate and the Kid and CANNOT drive stick, I was left with heaps of time to page through magazines, read, observe, chat, and THINK.

And I finally figured out at least part of the mysterious/soully- magnetic appeal of the mountains, the appeal that they have on my very essence.  They are empty.  Not, I mean, in a literal sense.  The mountains are, of course, filled with plant and animal life; with seasonal and spiritual life; with graciousness, grace, and Nature.

They are empty, in large part, of people.  People don't bother with the mountains because they are hard.... Hard to develop in a widespread manner; hard to claim in any humanly practical.   They are impermeable, impossible- they are impregnable.

Which brings me to my next realization.  I tie myself to the mountains because they represent for me, more than any other natural ecosystem, the true inability of mankind to conquer or own nature.

Sure, we can maul, destroy, mine (oh and mind we do, blast we do, excavate we do), pave, build, rebuild, rebuild again after that next hurricane, that unseasonable and infinitely unpredictable snowstorm- but there's just no way of beating her.  Nature is the great survivor.  I look at the mountains, the scenic views as Dad sails by them, and I see permanency.  I see immortality and strength beyond human capability.  I see Nature winning once again.

All of this I am pondering on this most auspicious of occasions- the Blue Moon- or second full moon to occur in one month.

Cheers to that, my Dearest Darlings. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Another Two-fer:

'The Trouble with Old-Fashioned' and 'The Trouble with Being a Nutter'

I'll get to the trouble with being Old-Fashioned in a moment- Let's begin with the singularly odd trouble of being a complete and utter Nutter.  And yes, I do revel in that rhyme scheme.

The trouble with being off your rocker, off my rocker, as it were... is that it's completely and utterly exhausting and at the end of the day you really really want a lobotomy.   Sometimes I wonder if, indeed, a major brain reconstruction (consider the physical more than the figurative here) is not the only way to rid myself of these demons once and for all.  

The trouble with being a Nutter is that you just cannot process reason in a way that is reasonable.  In fact, you cannot process reason at all.

------------

On to it, then.  The trouble with being old fashioned... oi, where can I? where do I? begin?

I am ready to move forward.  I am ready to be a big girl in the big world again.  Alas.  The big world is so big now that one must engage the Internet in order to meet someone.

NO.

I refuse.  Literally.  I. Re. Fuse.

I literally cannot stand the idea of having to use a dating service to meet someone.  How fake, how fraudulent, how manipulative do we allow ourselves to be when we only have to answer to the almighty Internet?  It frightens me to consider how many relationships are standing on such fragile and not-necessarily-truthful bases?

I joke sometimes that I go to Trader Joe's, Earth Fare, and Whole Foods to troll for men.  But the truth is that I would a million times rather meet someone shopping for fair trade bananas than buying me a drink at Girls Night Out or regaling me over the inter net with emails about saving a boyscout troop from a marauding grizzly bear.

The trouble with being Old-Fashioned is... Honesty.

Until Next Time, Friends- Be Calm, Be Brave, It'll Be Okay.  

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sometime in the Next 365 Days...

I'd like to imagine that the gal you see here has spent the last year
or so recouping in a bar somewhere in Europe, eating the finest of
foods, drinking the best of hard liquor and languorous wines,
learning a new language, and delighting in the anonymity
of health, well-being, and a quiet mind.

I'd like to imagine that whatever corner of the earth she has been
hiding in, she'll be ready to leave, to come back, when I eventually
meet her.  Re-meet her.  
I'd like to think that I am going to to come face to face with myself somewhere in the world.  Sometime in the next 365 days I'd like to come face to face with the self that I have spent so much time annihilating, pushing around, and starving.  I'd like to meet the self who was once mostly happy, most of the time.  I wish that the self who writes in her diary about self-dismantling and deprecation; the self who disparages and desecrates; the self who hates; could meet that other self.
I wish they could meet so that I could merrily write something happy- something that my Aunts would approve of and my father would begin reading again- and have it not be forced, not be a lie to try and convince people that I am on the up-and-up.

I hope they meet and remember that once, not even so long ago in the grand scheme of things, they made up the same person- the same whole person.  The same whole, mostly unfractured person.  I want the self who, depressed, takes anti-depressants every morning to meet the self who didn't need them- and remember how golden she was; they were.  I want them to stare at each other, acknowledge each other, and embrace each other.

It does not matter where she went or what she was doing while she was there.  She needed time to be protected and I needed time to fall apart.

Even in how bad I've been, there has still been goodness... there had to be.  Sometime in the Next 365 Days I have to believe that it will once again be mostly goodness.

Until Next Time, My Friends.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Signs


I used to stand by my much voiced opinion that I may be the worst example of a Libra of all time.  But then, today, I considered it a bit more personally and took on a challenge.


Let us begin at the beginning- Libra, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is the seventh sign of the zodiac, in astrology.   No big.  Pretty run of the mill.


Until you dig a wee bit deeper.  The Libra sign is represented by the Scales.  And here we have arrived at the fun part- the part which leads me to regularly state the aforementioned opinion- the Scales, Libra, is all about balance, symmetry and balance.  Ha.  And let's face it- I am categorically the least balanced person I know.  I am not being dramatic- no need to reassure me or molly-coddle me- I am not NOT the definition of a balanced human being.


Keep going into the definition of my sign and you find that Libra's are of 'positive' quality: expressive, extroverted, masculine, outgoing.  Muwahaha.  Not exactly, right?  I am non confrontational to the point of being painfully introverted and my expressiveness comes only with the written word.  I am shy to a fault and usually play the wallflower unless I know the people that I am with.


But read a little closer and my self-deprecating definition of 'worst Libra ever' falls apart.  For Libras fall under the Air element.  And I am nothing if not elementally air or ether.  Always moving, always thinking, doing, humming and buzzing, sustaining.  Vitality, although it does not always appear that way, courses in these veins of mine as though it truly is air moving in them.  If you follow that link I provided for air you will find this sentence nestled far down the page: Air personalities tend to be kind, intellectual, communicative and social; however, they can also be selfish, superficial, vicious and very insensitive to other people's emotions.

Oh yes.  I am selfish, self-centered (again to a fault), superficial, and vicious- when I want to be, I am downright terrifying.  The air and fearsomeness of a hurricane. 

Libra is also one of the four Cardinal signs.  Here is the superficially driven part of this blog: the Cardinal signs drive the seasonal changes.  They are the hinges of astrological world- the power signs.  Of course I am one of these Cardinals.  Even though I am negative and swirl through this world with a kind of immense and overwhelming disdain- I am powerful.  I am powerful in my negativity, I am powerful in my existence- as unusual as it may be- in my spirituality, beliefs, and ideas.  I am power.

So I humbly retract my statement.  Perhaps I am not the face-value of Libra, indeed I am definitely not. But I am a Libra.  And I am fascinated. 

Until next time- look up your own signs.  Follow the maze.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Quick Favorites List*

*Simply because I am in the mood to write but am tired of writing about sad things.

At the moment, I am digging on these guys- a sort of modern, slightly reggae, version of Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band.  I even found a video of these two together!!  I might have just had an eargasm.  And of course I have a crushy-crush on the singer, a wicked musician Brian Fallon (and for a stunning cover- look up his version of Kelly Clarkson's 'I Do Not Hook Up' on BBCs Radio 1 Live Lounge).

I am dying to try my hand at ceviche.  If I had even a little faith in my ability to handle and prep raw fish without killing everyone- or at least causing them violent, vicious tummy aches, I'd do it, too.

My dream home.  Seriously.  No, I'm not kidding even a little.

This dress.  I know, I know.  I have little to no faith in relationships, men (excepting, of course my beloved papa), the institution of marriage itself.  I am hopeless, helpless, and haphazard in my idea of love.  But every time I have a peek at this wedding gown, this wedding Line in general, I am reminded of the beauty of simplicity.  J Crew has done a rather fine job in cornering the market on graceful gowns for us un-fussy gals.  And no, I really have NO reason to be looking at this nonsense.  EXCEPT that I am a girl and we sometimes do funny, irrational things.

The darkness of the forests of New England.  Here I will wax slightly poetic.  I do not have a link that I can post so I will use my gift of language to at least attempt describe it.  I find that the forests in New Hampshire are often alive with a darkness that creeps alongside of you as walk or hike or bike or wander your way through them.  That darkness is the most soul-jarring and inspiring and perfect reminder of the power of the natural world.  It is not something that has been lost, here in this place.  Nature still rules; and it rules in a way that is slightly sinister and entirely mesmerizing.

Okay.  That's all for now, methinks.

Much love, My darlings- Until Next Time..  Be good, be graceful, and be WILD.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

New Hampshire

Or- Pain.

I am house-sitting for a friend in Grantham, NH.  For those of you who follow this blog but do not actually know me too well, I used to live and work in New Hampshire.  It is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, one of my favorite places on earth.

It is peaceful here.  And silent in the countryside.  And the air is so clean, so crisp and verdant with life and love and the promise of healing that you can barely stand it.  I can barely stand it.

Which is why it is so difficult for me to be here at the moment.  Because a major, and I mean major, part of me has not even begun to heal.  That part of me, the part that dictates most moments of my life, still loathes.  I loathe.  And I loathe myself.  More than anything else.  And I mean that- more than anything else in the world, I hate myself.  It has been this way for some time but for some more recent time it has been increasingly distressing.  I hate.  And I can only hate myself.  I can only feel violent hatred for my self.

So I look around at this place that I love, and I feel so much love for this place.  But then I look at myself and it all goes away.

Aye- there's the rub.  And the rub is exhausting.

Until Next Time, My Darlings.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Language of Time

One Year.  To the day.

Twelve Months.

365 Days (366 depending on how you count Leap Year).

What it is about the language of time?  Some words make time seem everlasting and crawling/creeping/ancient and sloth-like and sluggish.  It becomes a slow-motion entity when you consider a Year.  Or 365 days- 365 Days?!?!  That is a Year from Now!!  An eternity of seasons; cyclical, cynical, constant!  An yearternity.

But 12 Months... that is altogether different.  12 tiny months, each with their own holidays, meanings, moments.  They are short.  And sweet.  And twelve of them make up the eternity of the year  in nice, neat little packages comprised of evenly spaced weeks.

It has been exactly one year since my mental break.  One year since the trigger was pulled and I began unraveling and turned inward to punish myself and everything about me that I thought deserved punishment- which was, is, essentially everything about me.  One year since heartbreak.

One year of heartbreak.

One year of such self-hatred that I literally stole (and continue to steal) my own breath with the amount of pain I created (create) for and perpetuated (perpetuate) against myself.

And is not that another strange inflection in the language of time- past and presence tense?  What is the past?  What has passed?  And what is the present if not a culmination, an amalgamation, of the past and passed moments?

What is today if not the end of a long year?

I hope tomorrow will be different.

I know tomorrow will be.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Don't Look Down

I have this mantra that I follow- that I have followed since the time of my initial bout with anorexia.  I say it to myself over and over and over.  Daily, Hourly, Minute by Minute it hums through my brain, a constant companion.

Don't Look Down.  Don't Look Down.  Don't Look Down.

I get that it probably does not make much sense to many people why this would be my own personal mantra.  It's the thing you say to the person doing the epic climb- who is afraid of heights; to the person who is bungee- or base-jumping for the first time; to the person who really did NOT want to be stuck on the rickety old Ferris wheel... especially when it stalls at the top.

For me it holds, of course, entirely different meaning.

To look down is to acknowledge the beast- the physical evidence of my disease.  The breasts, the belly, the legs- all those parts that I so loathe.  The parts that are too big, too rounded- too feminine and so very hated.

DON'T LOOK DOWN.

To look down means facing the abyss- the deepest darkest fall into the deepest darkest parts of my self, my brain, my psyche.  The parts that cause me to HATE, to LOATHE, to toe a desperate line of self-destruction with every step I take.  It means heartbreak.   I look down and I am heartbroken.

DON'T LOOK DOWN.  PLEASE DON'T LOOK DOWN.

And that is the name of the game- Don't look down because down is bad.  Down is pain.

Until next time, Friends.
Much love.

Monday, June 25, 2012

NewsFlash!

Dear Hipsters,

It's the middle of the summer.

Lose the skinny jeans, ditch the knit hats, and find yourselves some shorts- they can even be from the thrift store.

XoXo,
Kate

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Solstice

Yes.  Today IS the Summer Solstice.  What a beautiful moment in time- the day is long, leaving ages to meditate, ruminate, and appreciate.  This Solstice is about abundance- a celebration of the Tomatoes Ripening; the Strawberries Sweetening; the Zucchini Explosion.  It is a celebration of lightness and goodness and a witches brew of overflowing, flowering love.

Happy Solstice My Darling Dears.

And Until Next Time..

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Some Days

Are Worse Than Others.

Some days are days that I want to let go of forever and leave behind me.  But it never quite works that way- never works as I have planned.

Those days stay with me for as long as I want to forget them.  They float around the back of my head, punctuating daily life with pain, misunderstanding, and self-loathing.  They push me around and whisper terrible things.

Those days stick.

And they wound.

And they just won't let go.

No matter what I do, no matter how many lengths to which I go- travel to Iceland?  Get another tattoo- hopefully one that will last? Starve?- those days stay with me.  And even that is not the right amount of emphasis- they HAUNT me.

Some days are like poltergeists.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Northern Lights, A Bucket List, and the Pull of Motion

As I waffle about dropping an immense amount of money on a trip to Iceland (because I am a maladapt incapable of spending a significant amount of time in one place) I am reminded of several things.

The first of which is this 'bucket list' concept.  I have wanted to travel Iceland for as long as I can remember.  The history, the mythology, the beauty, the nature of the beast that is nature, the nature of the beast that is me- these components combined in me even as a 'barely pre-teen' of 12ish to send me on a bender.  The desire to go to this distant yet so profoundly present place has been with me ever since.  I even considered, at one point, studying the Nordic colonization of Iceland.  In Iceland.

Then I realized I would have to learn several ancient languages and I am nothing if not lazy so that option went rapidly out the proverbial door.

The second thing of which I am reminded keeps the 'bucket list' alive.  The Northern Lights.  Oh God, I want to see them.  I keep thinking 'I must see them before I die'.  And who knows when that will be, especially considering my present condition.  So of course I am leaning more and more toward Iceland because I can see them there.  I can see them in their perfect, crepuscular presence.  I can experience these auric appearances.

And that's the kicker, to be honest.  The pull of motion for me is to run and run and run and experience, literally, everything I can.  I know that I hate China and don't exactly have the warm fuzzies for Louisiana.  I know that I love Australia, New Zealand, New England, France, Belgium and feel comfortably ambivalent when it comes to Germany.  And there is so much more.  So many cultures, so much LIFE, out there.

I cannot wait.

The third thing of which I am reminded is the the opening lines of a poem I wrote when I was in middle or high school:

We drove for hours last night
To see the Northern Lights. 

Until next time, my darlings.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Obsessions- The Summer Series

I decided that since summer is getting ready to blossom with it's fullest heady heat here in the south, I would put up an obsessions list to go with.  I have selected all of those 'things' that keep me all flustered and matching the ever-growing heat index around here.

To continue- I am completely and utterly obsessed with the following:

I have always had a soft spot, a weakness, a heart-stopping hiccupy crush, on dramatic music- Bat for Lashes, Sigur Ros, Stevie Nicks.  But nothing, these days, gets more dramatic than Florence + The Machine.  And let me tell you, every time I hear this song, I get more than a little hot and bothered...  Yes- I agree that if you listen carefully to the lyrics you will probably think me a suicide risk.  So if that does not float your boat- try this one on for size.  Still Florence, still hot and bothered.  I mean, really.

Okay.. soooooo... knowing my track-record with men (and pardon the pun if you recognize it) it's probably just the hair but HOT DAMN.  And let us be honest where honesty is called for- again knowing my track record with men... it could also be the costumes.  And yes, this is me creating another link to another photo just to hit it home.  Both of these guys... I could happily turn them into ice-cream cones.  Happily.  Gleefully.  With cheerful abandon.  Okay, I'm done now.  You get the idea- and the many pictures.  The point is, perhaps I need some heroic (or anti-heroic as I am currently toppling in the direction of Loki) behavior in my life, judging by how much I adore the Thor and Avengers franchises... okay okay.. judging by how much I adore the Thor and Avengers MEN.

...

Now that I have sufficiently fanned myself off, let us move on.

Am I the last person on earth to discover the Primeval Series?  I have always like Brit Tele much better than American and this little jewel just triggers so many flights of fancy.  Granted- it is far from the most intellectually stimulating television programs out there, but I like to put it on the background when I am pretending to study Ayurveda :).

There is this pose in yoga that makes me a little excitable as well.  I know it from New Zealand as Equestrian (Ashwa Sanchalanasana) but I do believe that North Americans know it as a 'Low Lunge.'  Regardless of what you actually call it, nothing will cure your hip ailments like dropping into this baby and remaining in it for thirty seconds to a minute.  It feels like heaven. Horse Heaven for me, I suppose.  But beyond that, it feels like strength.  Pure, powerful, spiritual strength.

The idea of Mom and myself getting tattoos at the same time.  She still hasn't quite decided but I have only a small decision to make.  This gal on my wrist- or the one that my dear Jay is supposedly drawing for me... Um... Jay-Bird... where's the witch??

So I think that's all for now.  I mean, that's all besides the usual hodge podge that flows through my brain making me all crazy-like: Iceland, travel, Argentina, a fine Malbec, TRAVEL, the Mountains, travel... you know how it goes.

I send you love, friends, until next time.

Cheers.