Month: May 2012

F is for Freya (and body confidence)

I wasn’t going to go this particular with my letters, but I think that this one is much more in line with what I was thinking than my original idea.

I was going to write about food.

See, the thing is, food for me is about comfort on a level beyond just comfort eating. My hearth is the center of my home and it’s easily become the center of my self. When I’m really upset, I cook. When I need to think about something, I cook. When I need to heal myself or others, I cook. Canning is meditation.

But I went through a really rough spot a few months ago in relation to my self. Or more specifically, my body. I was starting to wake up and realize that I had entered my late 20s and while I’m certainly not aging, I’m starting to feel parts of my body in ways that I didn’t really appreciate. So I took up belly dancing.

I mean that in the most basic form. I have a couple of videos that I do to open up my back and keep my hips from seizing. The upside, or downside in my case,  is that my body started reshaping itself in ways that I really wasn’t comfortable with.

I mean, throw my in a tail spin, stop the ride I want to get off, level of discomfort. I didn’t know who I was looking at in the mirror anymore. I really wasn’t comfortable with the attention that I was getting from other people. It’s hard to explain if you haven’t gone through it, to go from invisible to having a target taped to your front.

I finally started forcing myself to if not openly appreciating the appearance changes to at least thanking my body for wanting to be better at what it does and stop hating my form for the way that it is. It’s literally taken months to stop thinking, great, not only am I fat now I’m sticking out like a sore thumb because I’m shaped like the frakking mother goddess. Also, stop telling me I’m ‘hot’ when all the women you gloat over are literally half my body weight.

So where does Freya come into this?

I was meditating when it hit me that I’m overlooking a pivotal part of my personal path. And by meditating I mean I was spinning at the bus station. I used to connect with Freya at least twice a month on Friday, to reconnect with that type of raw, powerful, dark feminine power. That’s  how she strikes me anyway. She’s not fluffy pretty delicate, she’s power and refusing to take bullshit about her physical form. No one puts Freya in the corner.

So I started reconnecting again. It would be a lie to say that I’m completely happy centered body positive tummy loving right now. But I’m much more likely to think oh, you’re staring at me for being over a size 10? (Or more frequently, you’re just staring at me like a consumable good.) That’s very much your problem, and your lose, not mine. And mean it.

6 months ago- Time Capsule, part 1

The Sentinel

I promise, this is one of the creepiest movies you will have seen in awhile, with one of the slowest build-ups.

In a lot of cases that makes for a boring movie, but in this case it goes from bored model to bored model been attacked by cannabalistic elderly ghosts and you suddenly realize that the hair on the back of your head’s been standing up for the last half an hour without you noticing it.

(It’s also apparently John Carradine week for me. This is the second or third movie that I’ve watched with him in it).

A model looks for a new apartment in order to have a break from her long time partner, since she is unsure that she should marry him or not. Finding a furnished apartment for an exceptionally low price, she decides to take it. She begins to get to know her neighbors including the eccentric but harmless old man that lives on her floor. However, the one neighbor that people seem to be unwilling to let her meet is the blind priest who lives on the top floor.

The main character attends a birthday party for her elderly neighbor’s cat, after which she begins to have strange dreams (and the movie takes a turn to the trippy). When she sees the rental agent next, she is informed that the building is empty except for apartment and the priest’s. The movie begins its slow descent to complete oddity and creepiness, which includes the ghosts of small pets and Paradise Lost (you know, by Milton). Forced into a rather extreme choice, the movie ends with the main character coming full circle, in a way.

I saw this movie in broad daylight and it was creepy. I think that this would be scary as all get out in the right setting, and I can see this getting to people. But I’m biased, and think that it would be getting to them in the best way possible. This is a nightmarish film, in that there’s a great many scenes that jarred with me like I was remembering bad dreams, not watchin 1970’s horror.

6 months ago- Nightmares in Red, White, and Blue

1 year ago- Level 2-Ridicule

Sunday Legends- May Fever

Last week’s legends post, along with this week’s, are no accident.

I think May drove everyone in my immediate vincinity a little bit batty.

I’ve literally never seen my facebook feed invaded by satyrs before. It’s a little…odd, in a viscerally wonderful sort of way.

But, you know, just in case you’re wondering.

The interesting thing about May though is that apparently it has had a long standing association with raising the temperature of the blood.

If one were interested in such things (which I feel like everyone should have the experience of happening at least once in their lives), here’s a short run down on some romance folklore to round out the month.

-The may pole, with its ribbons and dancing, originates out of celebrations in Northern Europe that woud eventually morph into the modern beltaine. If you can’t figure out what one has to do with the other, well, um…in the words of an acquaintance, just think about it awhile…

-Supposedly, getting married on a Wednesday carries the best luck of all. Just don’t get engaged on May Day.

-Dreaming of bathing signifies coming love. So does having hairy legs, but that seems to me to have more to do with laziness, so…

-Placing daisies under your pillow will draw dreams of your future partner.

-An interest in eating beets shows that a person is in love. Feeding someone else cherries may make them love you more.

-Finding a cat in your bedroom, specifically a strange one, means your partner is true (and probably that you should look into having your windows replaced).

-Knitting a piece of hair from a (potential) partner into a garment will bind that person to you.

-But never knit a complicated project for a partner before engagement! (The infamous sweater curse.)

– Loving dogs is a sign that you’ll make a good marriage partner.

– Lettuces, like cherries, are said to increase both love and fertility. Honey was used to the same effect (the drinking of mead was the inspiration for the current honeymoon).

level 4- ember (avarice)

Remember this project? Time to stir up the flames again.

Level 1: Limbo-Sunset

Level 2: Lust-Ridicule

Level 3: Gluttony-psychopomp

Level 4:  Avarice-ember

Level 5: Wrath

Level 6: Heresy

Level 7: Violence

Level 8: Fraud

Level 9: Treason

Avarice (noun)Extreme greed for wealth or material gain.

Thus we descended into the fourth chasm,
Gaining still farther on the dolesome shore
Which all the woe of the universe insacks.

Justice of God, ah! who heaps up so many
New toils and sufferings as I beheld?
And why doth our transgression waste us so?

As doth the billow there upon Charybdis,
That breaks itself on that which it encounters,
So here the folk must dance their roundelay.

Here saw I people, more than elsewhere, many,
On one side and the other, with great howls,
Rolling weights forward by main force of chest.

They clashed together, and then at that point
Each one turned backward, rolling retrograde,
Crying, “Why keepest?” and, “Why squanderest thou?”

-Dante, The Inferno, Canto VII

2 ounces, fractal spun merino. The roving was purchased at Rhinebeck.

Haunted Western New York- The Fighting Sullivans

I thought that Memorial Day weekend would be a good day to post this, since the story of the Sullivans has been linked with Memorial Day in my head since I was in high school- my father used to camp out on the couch on Memorial Day watching as many war movies as he could find on AMC.

Since they were playing war movie marathons…that would be a lot.

I have mentioned I’m a Navy brat, right? Both my parents served.

The story of the Sullivan brothers is a fairly tragic one, and one of those horrible stories that destroyed a family but led to other families being spared the same trauma. During World War II, all five of the Sullivan boys enlisted in the Navy. Two of them had already served their tours, but had re-enlisted.

At the time, there was already regulations preventing family from being stationed together but the brothers enlisted with the requirement that they serve on the same tour. At this point of the war, the regulations preventing this type of behavior were not being enforced (I’m not a military historian, but I can imagine that if it meant getting able bodied men on boats, they weren’t going to be picky). All five of the brothers, ranging in age from 19 to 28 were stationed on the USS Juneau, a light cruiser seeing action in the Pacific Theater.

The Juneau was hit during the Battle of Guadalcanal, though she managed to survive the first torpedo hit. She was hit again later the same day near the weapons magazine and went down. It’s speculated that at least 3 of the brothers died at this time. Due to a desire to not  break radio silence, paperwork confusion, and other factors, a search for the approximately 100 survivors left in the water was not mounted until much later- leaving the men to fend off dehydration and sharks.

Eventually 10 survivors were pulled out of the water- but none of the 5 Sullivan brothers made it through the battle. Three were killed in the torpedo hits, one drowned, and the last went insane in the five days between the sinking and the search efforts, eventually going over the side of the life raft.

In an even more tragic twist to the story, the brothers’ family was not notified until 2 months after their deaths. This was due to wartime Naval security measures. However, after their parents were finally notified, the Sullivan brothers were treated as national heroes. After their deaths the Navy developed the sole survivor policy, which obligates that an individual who has lost a child or sibling during wartime actions be exempt from the draft or combat. However, the draft protection only stands during peacetime operations, and the combat exception has to be approved in times of war. This also does not apply to families with only one child.

The Navy would also name two destroyers The Sullivans- the first time a ship was named after more than one person. One of these destroyers is currently docked in the Buffalo Naval Park.

The Fletcher class Destroyer docked in Buffalo is said to be one of the most haunted naval vessels in the United States- it’s often listed with other haunted ships like the Queen Mary. The Sullivans saw action in the Korean war and World War II and most likely saw heavy casaulities. It may be that many of the first hand accounts (and there are many) may be the crew that were lost when the Sullivans was an active Destroyer.

However, at least one of the urban legends surrounding the vessel suggests that one of the most active spirits may be George Sullivan, the last brother to die, searching for his brothers. While I’m not going to say that it’s not possible, since there are two of these ships (the other was sent to Maine), why would he pick this one over the other?

People have reported being touched directly, lights will flicker in areas of the ship with no power, and items will move around seemingly with a mind of their own. At least one story reports that people refused to work on the ship on Friday the 13th because the Sullivans were said to be more active on that day than any other. One of the legends surrounding the ship suggested the entirity of the Battle of Guadalcanal is cursed, and that those who died during and directly after it, including the Sullivans, won’t rest until they are able to clear their Admiral’s name (who has been heavily critized for his actions during said campaign) (it would be interesting to see how this would be done- at least one source I’ve read has said that it would ‘require’ the The Sullivans to see active duty again to reclaim that honor, which seems unlikey for a Destroyer(s) mothballed in the 1970s).

6 months ago- Haunted Western New York-Zoar Valley

1 year ago- a new name/photo dump