29 August 2012

Freya, Casper, And How Is It Only Tuesday?

Photo still from one of my fav childhood movies:
Casper, the Friendly Ghost. I might have one.
Despite lack of communication in the blogular sphere lately, I’ve been relatively artisticly busy lately. The disconnect—evident by lack of posting—is not for lack of thoughts, material, or otherwise lack of anything other than my cord that connects my camera to my computer. I molded, fired, and painted a lovely statuette of Freya, Norse goddess of Love, Sex, Beauty, the Hunt, and general Badassery. I snapped several fantabulous photos of said statuette. But unfortunately, I am unable to either post pics here or list the item for sale on my Etsy Shoppe. Sad day. Perhaps once I finish cleaning my apartment (starting with my living room) I’ll be able to locate the runaway camera cord. In the meantime, I suppose I’ll just have to tweet a few pics from my phone. Not nearly as high quality, nor nearly as exciting.

In other news, I’ve been running around like a headless chicken these past few weeks trying to get everything in order job-wise. You know, that real job that I have but rarely blog about because, let’s face it, there’s a bazillion Army Officers out there, so who wants to hear about what I do? Of course in the same respect, there is a growing Pagan population, not to mention the colossal numbers of amateur artists, writers, musicians, and other creative-type folks. So perhaps I’m not as original as I once thought. On the other hand, perhaps my originality lies in the blending of all these things…but oh wait, we already have a phrase for that: Jack (or Jill) of all Trades, Master of None.

But such is life.

Perhaps it’s the encroaching full moon that has me so introspective, or perhaps it’s the lack of sleep (wait, what time is it? why am I not still working? oh yes, waiting on an email), but something just has my head spinning lately. Even on the rare occasion I’ve been able to finish my work (my real, Army-type work) before midnight, I’ve been unable to fall asleep right away, left instead to muse in circles, awake and pissed that I’m still awake. Tonight I’m upping my usual nightly dose of one ginormous mug of Bedtime tea (two leaves & a bud to the rescue!) to two ginormous mugs of Bedtime tea. Of course, with my luck, this will only result in my sleeping through my five alarms and being late to PT formation. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, shall we?

And in keeping up with the fine tradition of I-might-be-crazy-but-please-don’t-tell-anyone-as-I-post-publicly-and-only-slightly-anonymously-online-about-my-own-craziness, I think my apartment is still haunted. I’m not particularly astute when it comes to detecting entities of a ghostly nature, but in that half-waking, half-dreaming state of early morning semi-consciousness, I’ve been able to perceive a presence. I’ve done some research in ghosts—Walking the Twilight Path, Monsters: An Investigator’s Guide to Magical Beings, A Witch’s Guide to Ghosts and the Supernatural, and several other more generic examples of Pagan lit, and of course I’ve trolled all over the internet—and based on my interactions (such as they are) I have determined several things: My ghost is the spirit of a 13-15 year old boy, a victim of drowning some 200 years ago (surprising that his ethereal body has maintained this much cohesion, but water-deaths tend to do that, apparently), is totally OK with calling my Casper, and in fact might have a slight crush on me.

Oh yeah, and he also makes a great alarm clock. No joke. He yells at me in the morning when it’s the last possible time for me to get out of bed and still by chance make it to formation on time. Seriously. This has happened three times now. The first two times he poked me, the third time—just last week—I actually heard a young, male voice say, “You have to get up! Like right now!” So I did. He seems content so long as I acknowledge his presence, and he’s been thus far VERY well behaved whenever I’ve had guests over.

So either I’m crazy, or perhaps ghosts really do exist.

07 August 2012

Road Trips and Deployment Poem

Basically what I looked at every day for four months.
Yay empty desert and camels. Picture found here
I love road trips. I love getting to see the country in between here and there, wherever I happen to be going at the time: the roads that twist and wind through the mountains, shaded and dark no matter what the time of day; the roads that stretch on forever, straight and flat and open; the highways with a billion lanes and cars driving at reckless speeds. I love it all, I really do. With music blaring I’ll sing along obnoxiously, not caring who sees me or what they think. I’ll be rocking my aviators, dancing in my car as I drive. Sometimes I’ll reach my destination only to realize I’ve lost my voice in the process because of all the singing…no one else can hear me—there’s no one to judge me—so I can sing as loud as I want.

There have been quite a few roadtrips in my rearview mirror over the past year or so. I drove from Virginia to New York and back multiple times, Virginia to Missouri and back twice, Missouri to Texas, and now Texas to Virginia. I’ve got another roadtrip around the corner, but this one I won’t be driving myself. The family is heading up to Pennsylvania for an annual summer reunion. It’s always a lot of fun, mainly because we eat and drink and laugh and watch Star Trek and ride horses and just have a riot out in rural (and when I say “rural,” I mean rural) Pennsylvania. It’s a blast. Then shortly after we return, I’ll have to start heading back to Texas. It’s a two-day trip, and I usually take a break with a friend who lives along the route.

It is, as always, good to be back in Virginia. Everything here is so green right now! The trees are definitely dressed in their summer finest. There’s been a lot of rain this year, which likely accounts for the intense greenness. Even the grass, which is usually a little brownish by August, is a bright emerald. I went for a run yesterday morning along my favorite running road—well shaded, not so well trafficked, and winding lazily next to a creek—and just couldn’t get over all the green. Perhaps it comes as such a shock of color after spending so long in the colorless desert. Speaking of, as promised, here’s a poem I wrote while deployed, titled simply “Hell.” Enjoy!

There’s something buried here.
There’s a vengeance; there’s a need,
buried underneath the sand
     and piles of debris.
It rumbles with the wind;
it clings to our clothes,
and if it rears its ugly head,
     this desert may explode.

There’s something buried here:
an ancient, angry grief
under pebble-crusted dunes,
     swallowed whole,
          buried deep.
It stirs the blood of Soldiers,
chills the wary to the bone,
infiltrates our dreams with thoughts
     of never going home.

There’s something buried here,
and that something wants us gone.
It says, “You never should have come,”
     but we’ve known that all along.