lilac wood (roxicons base)

Kaze No Torii Michi

In my mind's eye, my word wood looms, the dark shadows filled with fragrant air from the tall and handsome camphor trees. I remember the first time I smelled the aroma of camphor, an essential oil I bought after seeing Hayao Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro. It was exactly like I imagined it would be, astringent and clean, the way sunlight might smell if it had a scent. But that analogy didn't illuminate the shadows of neglect that clustered in my once cherished woods.

Would I be able to go back? Many people would worry about getting
out of a forest; but my concern was that I would never find the way back in. It's been so long since I wrote in this journal, seeded it with my own words and watered it with the joy I found in reading others' stories.

Why did I leave? So many reasons. The dream job that became a nightmarish lesson in reality. The discovery that I hadn't lost my voice; I don't think I had it to begin with. Only my stories speak for me- yet I don't know who "I" am. So much of me comes from the threadbare gingham pocket in which I grew, a worn out and outgrown place.

Why am I coming back? Because I met people I know from here, out in the world. People I admire. Because I miss the stories you all tell. Because the word wood is a space that I made to grow anew. The Wind Forest.

And breeze does come, whispering through the trees, the vague hint of a flute, the vague hint of welcome. There is an opening, between a stately camphor and gnarled old oak. Not large, maybe not even a complete way in. But it's a start.
green land (roxicons base icon)

Time for a (slight) change

New life. New year. New lj. So much has happened that I am not at all the same person I was when I started this journal. This is probably the third or fourth time this has happened since I joined lj. I need a fresh start. But I'm still in ciuin_sionnach. In the unlikely event someone out there is still reading at this point, you're more than welcome to join me. 
kitten by madnesscarousel

special needs . . .

 He waited until after my guests left, after I had tried my phone call, after I had even left the area of the house in which he hid. Then, when all was quiet, when even much of the traffic from the road outside our house was gone, he crept out. The first thing I felt was the leap on the bed, where I was doing a calming and centering meditation. I guess it worked for someone, because it coaxed him out, and I'm glad it did. 

I sat up slowly; he scares pretty easily, and this was no exception. He was off the bed and out the door in a second. I laid back down, put the ambient sound loop back on, and waited. Sure enough, in five minutes he was back, mewling pitifully if I didn't react but bolting if I did. When I actually got off the bed to go to him, he was halfway across the house before I could blink. Thus the game of the determining the right amount of waiting and subtle movements began again. 

His name is Leto, from the character in the story Children of Dune. It fits him, since he is the picture of a desert cat with his narrow angular nose and cream and sandy coloring. He's a half-feral rescue. His mother was one of several alley cats behind one of the places I used to work. They were scheduled to be destroyed by an unsympathetic county animal control until several of us, led by my amazing activist supervisor, intervened. She personally rescued Leto's mother, and he was born in her home. 

We rehabbed another of the cats, a second expecting mom named Sidera. She and her kittens were eventually adopted by the wonderful dealeonessa , which freed us up to temporarily rehab another couple and get them off to good homes. It didn't work out that way, in the end. Of the three kittens that came to us, only one was adopted. Leto and his brother Stitch remain part of our family today. We already had multiple cats at the time, so this was hardly expected; but all the other prospective owners backed out, and we didn't want to risk impersonal care in this age of overflowing shelters.

For Leto, at least, it would likely have been a death sentence. He is the definition of a special needs animal, perpetually terrified and prone to making messes at the least provocation. He gets along with his brother and my fiance and tolerates me, and I find myself cleaning up after him more than I would like. But there are moments- when it's just me in the house and he runs mewing for someone to show him that he's not alone, when I wake up at night and he's ended up snuggled against me by accident in his sleep, when I see the utter devotion with which he treats my fiance . . .

He can't help his nature, or his condition, and to me it would be no more right or fair to set him aside because he is difficult to deal with than it would be for a human child. And those moments, when I can see it pay off, just a little, see his fears assuaged just a little, I actually feel like we've done something truly beautiful. 
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swamp (lyckaa base)

All Unwritten Prompt 1366- On the Ground

So I tried to avoid the Casey Anthony trial as long as I could. I honestly didn't want to know. What I had gathered from the rampant media coverage was enough: three years ago a young mother, almost beyond even a shadow of doubt, murdered her own 2 year old child. I teach. Two of my best friends have beautiful, amazing small children. That is more than enough for me to be too disturbed to want to know anything about such a case, despite it being almost everywhere I turned for the past month or so. Hearing about murders, especially of the very young or very old, makes me feel angry and helpless.

Then the verdict came out, my facebook and twitter exploded, and I couldn't avoid it anymore. I heard the defendant had been judged innocent, and I shared in the anger of millions across the country. But I didn't want to do it in ignorance. Maybe I was wrong, maybe the media had portrayed the woman in question unfairly. So I researched the case last night- and found that it will haunt my sleep for many evenings to come. Even the jury didn't seem to think she was innocent; they just didn't feel the prosecution provided enough hard evidence to convict her. I went into my research hoping that there might be something to validate the verdict and came out of it believing more than ever that the exact opposite of justice had been served. A self-centered young woman most likely committed the ultimate atrocity with minimal consequences, and is in a position to even possibly benefit from it in terms of financials and attention.

This is incredibly judgmental of me, I know; but like so many others, I thought of little Caylee Anthony's tortured last moments, DNA evidence that would have been enough for any crime drama, and the utter lack of grief displayed by the child's mother. I read the chilling diary entry thought to have been written not long after Caylee was last seen, and I was furious. This story is a result of that anger, and the desire to give a voice to murder victims. As such, it is darker and more grim than what I ordinarily write, and does contain detailed imagery of death. 

"People once believed that when someone dies, a crow carries their soul to the land of the dead.
But sometimes, something so bad happens that a terrible sadness is carried with it and the soul can't rest.
Then sometimes, just sometimes, the crow can bring that soul back to put the wrong things right."
- The Crow

On the GroundCollapse )

space by valoqueen

space . . .

 NASA is retiring the space shuttle program. 

Where have I been that I haven't heard this? Initially, I was a little shocked that it hasn't been displayed more prominently on the news. Then again, with everything going on in the world today, I suppose I should not be surprised that we've turned our gazes earthward and not all realized it yet. This isn't a judgement call; the world has a lot on its plate. And NASA was quick to assure the public that this isn't the end of the space program as a whole, just the low orbit shuttle portion. Still, I'm a little sad. 

For all the big, overarching reasons, of course- the lack of funding for our space program in this time of economic hardship, the way that tough times tend to suck public interest out of amazing dreams such as mankind in outer space, the concern that we might be headed for a major setback in one of the most exciting fields of scientific exploration. But there's also a little, nostalgic melancholy curled up inside me; I grew up in a decade where the imagination of three generations embraced the vast expanses of space. Like the dark reaches of an unknown forest or the mysteries of a lost continent- only a thousand times bigger- outer space appeals to the adventurer, the explorer within us. 

So I take some time to have a cup of tea with that nostalgia and sketch out a scene that might become a story. 

watching the second moon riseCollapse )

  • Current Mood: pensive pensive
  • Current Music: Message from the Cosmos- Kitaro
rain (roxicons base)

(no subject)

 My meditations are so revealing, even delirious and sick- especially in moments of delirium, in fact. So many thoughts fluttering around in the cage of my mind, so much of what I have seen and heard in my 30 years of life, even said and done. How much of it, though, do I want to keep?
My mind is like my house; in need of decluttering . . . and it is ever so more important with a mind. What's in a mind too long can become a part of what's in the soul that accompanies it. But it's much harder to throw away an idea than it is an ugly trinket or worn out shirt. 

And so a sky of constant motion swirls inside me . . . light thoughts of compassion or insight, fluttering their brightness to all the corners of my being . . . heavy, oily things full of hate or cynicism oozing about, leaving residue behind them that I am always struggling to clean. I want to let them out the back door and be shut of those ones, never to see them again. But they ooze about in the world outside of my mind as well, and they are always banging at the door of my inner peace, speaking with the voices of so many others they've managed to ooze into or with the scars they've left on the world at large. My greatest fear is to spread their sick through my own voice, too. I have done it before- I want never to again. I want them out! 

Leave me my fragile winged things, my fireflies on a summer evening, my clean wind after the rain. Let their words escape through my lips and across the pages of my works, songs of fresh air and rushing waters and an endless horizon open to each and every heart. What can I say that is just mine and my shimmering thoughts, my light weighted memories of sun breaking over a mist wreathed arboretum? How can I breathe the dreams of Kwan Yin in a breaking world? We all must do something. 

  • Current Music: Reach for the Light (theme from Balto)
rain (roxicons base)

life bytes: Cranapple Tea Fusion


1 packet of green tea
A pinch of cinnamon
Cranberry Apple juice (to taste)
  1. Combine green tea and cinnamon in one teabag. 
  2. Brew for 2-3 minutes. (3 minutes will make most green teas a little tangy, but it also ensures you won't overpower it if you plan on adding a decent amount of juice)
  3. After brewing, cool with Cranapple juice and stir. 
Recovering from the third assault of THE FLU THAT WON'T DIE (hopefully the summer heat will put an end to it once and for all). This is my elixir of up and at 'em, and I love how it tastes. Not all of my cooking experiments do :p With luck, this will get me back into the zone I was in Tuesday, where I cleaned for 4 hours straight ^_^ I knocked out my bathroom, the living room, and parts of the library and kitchen . . . and then got sick. Still was able to see X-Men: First Class with Ash, Mandy, and Daniel, thankfully; but had to miss going to the museums with Ash and Daniel the next day >_<  

This is a remarkably casual post for rarely having been back on lj since . . . but I won't talk about that here. Not now. Maybe not ever. The people who mattered in that situation are in my heart, and that's all that counts. 

*stops the drama train before it builds up too much speed* 

One thing at a time. Quiet life. Tea. Cleaning. Writing. Crafting. Friends. 

  • Current Mood: hopeful hopeful
  • Current Music: Won't Back Down (The Voice Performance)- Dia Frampton and Blake Shelton