Ketuvim 16

My adaptation of Psalm 16

Keep me, O Living Earth,
For in you I find refuge.
I said you are the source of life,
You are my mother,
And my happiness lies in you alone.

All my desire is to be among
Those who protect the land,
And those who respect it.
Sorrows increase
For those who disfigure your face.
Never will I follow their ways
And never will I trod their path.

Living Earth, my share of the heritage,
My cup,
It is you who keeps me secure.
The lines have fallen for me
In pleasant places;
A wonderful heritage is mine.

I will honor the Earth who has given me counsel,
Even at night my inner self instructs me.
I remember the bounty of the Earth always;
It sustains me with its abundance.
I cannot be shaken.

So my heart is glad
And my flesh rejoices;
Even my body shall rest in safety,
For you sustain me now,
And will embrace me in your arms at death.

You have shown me the path of life,
The fullness of joy in your presence.
Everlasting happiness
In the mists of your wonder and beauty.

-Shadow

Project: Alternative medicine

My posts have been lacking because I have been busy working outside.  I got off the Netflix binge and now on to something else. I go to work, come home, work out in the yard…I have been busy tending to plants, including herbs I’ve planted from seed.  I’ve even creating an “herbal flower bed” from rocks that I gather around the property.  I’ve planted things like Lavender, Skullcap, German Chamomile, Valerian, Nettle, Primrose, Lemon Balm, etc. All medicinal plants. When I am not tending to these things during daylight hours, I am running around the property foraging for wild plants…or sometimes crawling on the ground looking at bugs, until I remember I am supposed to be foraging. When I am indoors, I am preparing tinctures or other preparations and writing it all down in a notebook.  Yes, in a literal notebook with actual paper, not on a computer screen where it gets automatically saved in the wild blue yonder.

I have been using herbal remedies and making my own remedies/care products for some time.  I have an entire apothecary of various “remedies” and products I’ve made. But this is the first opportunity I’ve had to actually grow herbs from seed.  Gardening has also been very therapeutic and I am finally at a point where I want to see what happens when I stop taking psychotropic medications (again) and replace them with herbal alternative (again).  Now might be a good time to mention I was on herbal remedies when I was in that god forsaken noisy apartment a while back. They had became ineffective to all that was going on there that I turned to modern treatment.  I take a Kava tincture during the day but at night I am still taking an antipsychotic. Oh, and I still take a low dose of Lexapro during the day. I question its effectiveness as my racing thoughts seemed to stop only after I began taking Kava again.

So, my first experiment will be to see what happens when I stop taking Lexapro.  I will post the results at a later date.  Then after I have made tinctures from Valerian, Skullcap, Lemon Balm and Evening Primrose, I will see what works best for helping me to be able to sleep at night.  That is, of course, after I make sure they don’t interact with the Kava tincture.  And in case you don’t know, after the herbs are gathered and ready to use, it will take an additional six weeks to make them into a tincture.  

So for now it looks like a season for experiments…and I just love experiments.  Let’s see what happens.

Shadow

Debt owed to the past

I have been silent for a while because I did not have anything to say. I don’t have that much to say now, but writing is supposed to help a person sort out shit or something. So I am writing.

First, I abandoned meditation. All my interests are short lived so it should not come as a surprise to anyone. I also stopped learning about Buddhism.  Perhaps because it takes way too much effort for me to “play nice” all the time and not say what immediately comes to mind.  Internally (and sometimes externally) I am somewhat intense and the calm, go with the flow Buddhism approach is a lot of work.  Too much right now.  Besides, I had gotten distracted by binge watching Netflix and bookbinding…again. Creating illuminated texts…again.

After a few weeks of this, I began to feel restless and I could feel boredom beginning to creep in. Emptiness soon arrived, followed by depression. By this point, I felt compelled to do something different. I felt as though I had to fight against these feelings.  To get rid of them somehow.  So I went outside, began observing nature (again) and recording it in my nature journal. I spend several days working on my flower bed, planting herbs, plucking weeds…anything to be outside in nature. When I would come back into the cabin, I would sit in silence staring at the walls. I suppose one could say this all occurred because I gave up those wonderfully inspiring Buddhist teachings that were attempting to show me a better way to live.  So I could be happy for the rest of my days and I threw it all out the window when I stopped listening.

Old ways of being are really hard to change.  I must like being miserable…of being in chains…of being bored, never sticking to an interest long-term and feeling empty.  Otherwise, why would I keep returning to it?  It reminds me of the Norse myth concept of the Norns (spinners of fate) and the great world tree, Yggdrasil.  At the root of Yggdrasil is the well of Urd (past/memory) from where the tree gets its water.  The waters of the past/memory are absorbed by Yggdrasil (symbolizing the present) and then fall from its leaves as dew (symbolizing a debt owed to the past) back down into the well.  This same idea can be seen in the meaning of the names of the three Norns who are considered to be the spinners of fate: Urd “past”, Verdandi “present” and Skuld, often translated as “future” but some suggest that “necessity/intention” or “debt owed” is more accurate.

Whether we realize it, the past has made us what we are today.   Whether we believe by an outside entity or by ourselves does not matter.  In my current state of boredom, emptiness and depression, I must ask myself what I willing to do…what debt am I willing to pay to the past so that I can be more balanced in the present?  Because up until now, all I have been doing is returning over and over again to the well of the past without ever really paying the debt that is owed.

Shadow

Skull-picker

I look for skull-picker

Along the traveling way

After sun’s birth

Each and every day.

 

The mysterious blood-starling

Who mourns her own dead

And exchanges information

Nightly, before bed.

 

An intelligent one

Who captivates me

And caches her food

High up in the tree.

 

This one I adore

And hear her every day

I often find her

By the roadside buffet.

©Shadow

Kennings: skull-picker, blood starling= crow

What do you know about her?

Note:  I often use kennings in my poetry.  To help make this poem more understandable, I used the following kennings:

the fire of the sky=sun; swan of blood=raven; Thor’s laughter=thunder; weeping of clouds=rain

What do you know about her?

This one who loves to see

The fire of the sky

In the evening, alone with me.

 

What do you know about her?

The one who is intrigued by

The odd swan of blood

But know not what makes her cry.

 

Tell me what you know

Of what she likes to hear

Thor’s laughter in the distance

Music to the ear.

 

Tell me what you know

Of what she likes to smell

The weeping of clouds

Makes her emerge from her shell.

 

Tell me what you know

About all of her tears

Her lifelong problems

Of tantrums and fears.

 

Do you know this little girl?

Living down below

Deep in the shadows

Still in chains from long ago.

 

Who is this little girl?

Who learned to be an imposter

Never growing up

Still waiting for her well-being to foster.

©Shadow

Sunna Rising

The land is cloaked in darkness

Before yellow-queen is to rise

And as light gives way

Red and gold paint the sky.

 

Greetings to you, dear Sunna

As the gates of darkness fade

Cloud-murk covers hawthorn’s moor

And Mani no more in shade.

 

I turn my face to you

Lady of light

Arise! Arise!

With all of your might!

 

And now in full view

Elves-glory lights the land

Thank you, dear Sunna

For giving life to the seat of man.

 

©Shadow

Who am I?

Since I moved out of my former apartment after only a short while, I had to find something else before my father’s house had to be put up for sale.  Lucky for me, there is this guy at work who just so happened to have a one bedroom cabin on his property that he is willing to rent to me. I went to look at it and when I arrived and got out of the vehicle, the first thing I said to him is “This is a paradise!”  I love nature and love being in nature…and in a rural area…I don’t like city life, as I might have mentioned before. I don’t know how people function with all the distractions and noise. Anyway, he had trails all through the woods. A great place to find a sit spot and observe nature I thought.  I looked at the cabin too since that was the purpose for my visit.  It was a rustic cabin that look like something straight out of the movies.  The area is quiet and I absolutely love the place.

It is so perfect for me that I am waiting for something to go wrong before I move in on October the 1st.  Or even for something to happen and not be able to rent the place. Maybe I think I don’t deserve it and that is why I am being so negative about it.  That all I deserve is some crummy apartment in a noisy city. Maybe I am just always thinking I should not get my hopes up. That sometimes good things happen to people but I am not usually one of those people.  

Stay positive, I tell myself.  Everything will work out.

In other news, I went to see my therapist yesterday.  The question I am to consider is: “Who am I when I am not wearing a mask?”  Hmmm, that is a really tough question. Seems like I am always wearing a mask.  I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have them. And someday not wearing one of them seems scary.  I don’t know who I am without them. Maybe I am nothing. Surely I do not wear them when I am alone.  But who am I then?

-Shadow