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All my armor comes from you (an AIDS Walk Austin diary – there’s another match Wednesday)

So, first thing, there is another $100 match Wednesday, and another chance to win South By Southwest wristbands if I raise $250. If I get to $250, and if I win the wristbands (2 big ifs) I’ll put the names of all of today’s donors in my own drawing & give someone the other wristband, since I can’t use 2.

Here is my AIDS Walk Austin page.

I don’t know about you, but I could use some warm fuzzies – an AIDS Walk diary


it’s hard to read, but it says: “love is bigger than anything in its way”

So we’ve all been hearing the awfulness brought out by the Kavanaugh hearings. Some of us are reliving/remembering some pretty awful things. I can’t deal with any more horror/disgust/sadness. I can’t go back and re-do the past, make those things not happen. What I can do is try to make now better. I’m writing a diary filled with warm fuzzies. And asking for donations for AIDS Walk Austin.

Mabon

Mabon, a triple sonnet

 

Woods Tree Leaves Fall Nature Autumn Red Season

 

(A Triple Sonnet)

by Benjamin Neideigh

Saint Philibert’s feast day passed weeks ago,
But we shall munch his namesake nuts today,
And apples, too—deep shiny red, aglow—
And kiss each other’s chins to lick away
The sweet juice of the autumn’s proudest fruit.
The pumpkins and piled corn make tables groan.
Try to ignore the bony man, hirsute
With moss and cobwebs, by the door. He’ll moan
For sweet Persephone, and she will follow.
The pomegranate promise she has made,
And she must keep it deep in Hades’ hollow.
Six months she’ll stay, her sad absence displayed

By withered leaves, by fruitless trees, by snow…
And hard on her footsteps, we too must go

Out of the light that sparked the spring rebirth,
Out of the sun that heated summer’s play,
Into the falling dark, the cooling earth,
With harvest larders feeding us for days,
For weeks, for months, until things grow again.
This we accept. It’s truth, and truth we crave.
Truth is: we need the rest, the darkened den,
The sleep, the dreams, the Winter Solstice grave,
The death-and-rebirth of the lordly sun
Three months from now, in winter’s deepest cold,
Year’s longest night. That’s how Earth’s course is run,
And why ancestors rose up, newly bold,

Sure of the changing spans of day and night,
Sure of dear Gaia’s plans for their delight.

But… I’m ahead of myself. Mabon’s here.
Fresh bales of hay are dotting all the fields.
Altars of red/gold/orange now appear,
And we’ll chant praises for abundant yields.
We’ll feast… but not too much and not too long.
What we’ve laid in must last ’til spring arrives.
We’ll welcome the Dark Mother with our song,
Expressing gratitude that we’re alive
And thriving in this wonderland she gave,
Though threatened as it is by heedlessness.
We must combat the greenback’s blinded slaves
And put to right their greed-inflicted mess.

Today is balance, and balance we seek.
We shall be loving, kind… but never meek.

© Verse-Case Scenario, LLC 2018


Ben’s note: I still hold in my heart nuggets of the earth-based spirituality I studied in the Nineties and early “Oughts.” The practice and the mythology contain valuable messages for modern humankind and provide crystal clear focal points for meditating on what’s truly meaningful. May you all enjoy a blessed Autumn Equinox.

Diana’s note: I first met Ben and his wife Jean at the place where we studied earth-based spirituality in “the Nineties and early Oughts.”

 

Woods Tree Leaves Fall Nature Autumn Red Season

Entering the Quiet Time as We Leaf the Light Behind

An equinox occurs twice a year, when the tilt of the Earth’s axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the Sun being vertically above a point on the Equator. The latitudes +L and -L north and south of the equator experience nights of equal length and the celestial equator has intersected the ecliptic in the axial precession.

This year’s autumnal equinox, when the light and dark are equal – but moving towards dark – arrives at 8:54pm Central Time on Saturday, September 22.

But seasonal celebrations should not be bound by dates and times and such. In fact, it is a good idea to pre-celebrate Equinox so that you do not miss that last fleeting moment when light and dark have equal time. So …

Let the Fall Celebrations Begin !!

Tuesday in Mooseville – Rage Becomes Us (h/t Soraya Chemaly) 9/11/18

Embrace it.

Sometimes you realize the reason you have a writing block is because you’re so damn angry. Twitter reminds me that I’m not alone; I remind myself that voting is cathartic and can’t come soon enough. Let’s get it done.

My first AIDS Walk diary for 2018

Hi. So if you look at my posting history, it’s 99% AIDS Walk & AIDS Ride diaries. Yeah, back in May I posted about going to the U2 concert in Chicago. But really — it’s about the Walk & the Ride; and heading into the fall season, it’s #AIDSWalkATX. This year, it’s in early November:

In its 31st year, AIDS Walk Austin returns to Republic Square on Saturday, November 3, 2018. Benefiting ten sharing agencies including AIDS Services of Austin, this event brings together people (and pets) from all walks of life!

AIDS Walk Austin attracts 1,000+ people annually for an afternoon of celebration and remembrance of those affected by HIV. This year, the Walk will partner with the Farmer’s Market to create an amazing festival atmosphere that will be fun for the families, friends, and pets.

Together, we can add up the steps to equal Zero new infections.

VNV Tuesday – Book Break! Getting Cozy 8/7/18

Not my books, but I recognize this style of decorating.

I read. I read a lot. On a scale of 1-10, I’m probably a 7.5-8 in terms of time spent reading. For the most part, I read non-fiction, mostly history of some sort, and since I started doing Tuesday posts, my reading has provided an invaluable resource for information and inspiration. When I start feeling bogged down and in need of self-care, I turn to mysteries, some cozy, some not. Ngaio Marsh and P.D. Marsh are my all-time favorite mystery writers, the Brother Cadfael mysteries by Ellis Peters are my favorite historical mysteries (thanks, Rugbymom for turning me on to them), and Diane Mott Davidson writes my favorite cozy (culinary) mysteries. I mentioned to my daughter a few weeks ago that I was feeling overwhelmed and depressed by all of the history I’ve been reading, but I wasn’t sure I could take a break and leave myself topic-less for these posts. She suggested I read some mysteries written by persons of color, and Diana in NoVa suggested an author that I might find interesting and want to start with. So from now on, when you see “Book Break!” in the title, you’ll know I’m taking an emotional breather and that the kudos belong to The Kiddo and Diana.

“Give Thanks for the Blessings”

Happy Lammas!!

Hey, wait just a minute! Those are happy llamas … which is not the same thing at all!

Today is August 1st, the pagan holiday of Lammas or First Harvest. It is the first of three harvest celebrations on the Wheel of the Year. But because this is a pagan holiday that does not have a corresponding non-pagan holiday, it may be one that you have never heard of.  

The Deer at Lammas Tide

Aylwin thought her way was the only way—until the Goddess showed her otherwise.

 

All seemed well in the orchard that morning and in the woods beyond.

Walking from the Big House through the orchard, Aylwin paused on her way to breakfast to drink in the sight of a cluster of rosy-yellow apples against the pale blue sky that showed through the branches of the apple tree. She stood very still and breathed deeply, trying to fix the color and scent of the apples in her mind.