I have three poster size cards from the Rider-Waite deck framed and hanging on the wall over my bed. The Fool, who reminds me to be playful and never be afraid to fall (innocence). The Hanged Man, who reminds me that everything is revealed by doing the work (fortitude). When I wake in the morning and look up at him, he smiles. And The Hermit, who reminds me that the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know much (humility).
I realized the difference between The Hermit and The Castaway is the company. By Ostara this year I had taken on more and more, filling my plate, and found myself getting extra plates until I had a full table. Over the years my prison visits had increased in both frequency and duration. Then I began to make visits to a state mental hospital, soon those visits increased until I found myself teaching 12 week courses. Then I was contacted by another prison, then another...
Then there's my overdue homework, memos and minutes for the non-profit, Coven craftwork, the community circle contact list, the Sabbat flier, my PPD workshop, the university lecture, the pile of inmate correspondence, not to mention my day job as a facility administrator preparing for Cal Osha visits, annal audits and quarterly reports.
I forgot what I was actually looking for when I went digging through the pile(s) on my desk, whatever it was it had to be in there somewhere. But what I did find down under all that mess was an old tattered and stained sticky note, it got my attention because it was so hard to read. I squinted and realized I'm supposed to be wearing glasses now, maybe that's what I was looking for, but It read:
"When was the last time you put down your magic and played with your kids?"
I stared at it for a while, I remembered that this had happened to me before. I was angry that it had happened again. I walked though the house, slowly and quietly and just watched my kids. I realized that my oldest daughter would soon be starting her senior year, we hadn't seen "the twins" (as we call them) in person since we gave them iphones, and my Mini Me wasn't so mini.
I notified the prisons that I wouldn't be coming in for a few weeks, took the semester off from school and put everything except the absolute necessities on the pack burner. It felt very uncomfortable at first, doing nothing. But I got the hang of it. My kids taught me how to play video games, (Black Ops Rules by the way) stay up late watching adult swim, and sleep in until it was absolutely nessissary to wake up. We spent a lot of time up at Amahi in Three Rivers, its literally a spiritual retreat for our family. Spearfishing, (caught three) white water body surfing and cliff diving was a great way to spend the summer with my fellow Castaways.
We made a trip down the Bakersfield to attend a Lammas ritual hosted by some friends, I love going to other peoples rituals for many reasons: 1. I'm not running anything, which is always awesome. 2. meeting old friends 3. making new friends 4. "Borrowing ideas for rituals 5. FOOD. The ritual was awesome because I completed all five. While I was there I hung out with The Holy Idiot who helped me to realize how lucky I was to be able to drop everything and spend some time with my kids. This was a very large reality slap that left me dizzy for a few days. Thank you Robert.
The whole summer was a blur and their all back in school already. I'm preparing to return to the prisons, I didn't think I'd miss it so much and I cant wait to get back to it. The VA glitched my tuition so I'll be taking one more semester off, but that's ok, I got lots to catch up on, a whole new book to write and a bunch of blog entries too. I kept a list of topics I wanted to write about once the summer was over, but some of them I can't remember ans some I cant read. But here's what I've got planed for the next few weeks:
- Power of Prayer
- Russel's Music
- "something" and the beyond(?)
- Rev. "something"(?)
- More about (our) Tradition
- "I have no idea what language this word is supposed to be in"
- and a doodle of something that looks like a pig's tail.
Thank you Lord and Lady for the Summer, the River, the Memories, and the Reality Slap. Blessed Be.