Monday, April 14, 2014

Open Letter To The Idiot Landlord.

Dear Idiot Landlord,

We told you that the tree where we park needed trimming so it didn't throw another branch through another of our windshields. You have yet to do so. You have been far too busy pulling out old trailers (so that you can rent still more substandard housing) and tending your garden.

Don't make me blight your crops, you rapacious, tax-evading bastard. While I would feel bad about hurting innocent plants, I would not feel bad about giving you a serious case of the pants-ruining shits.

No love,
the ocelot

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I've Been Nominated!

The kind and debonair Veles at Adventures In Witchery has nominated me for a Liebster blog award. I have no idea what this is, but am flattered. Onward to the questions I'm supposed to answer!

1. What is your most favorite magical mistake?

Putting a ward on my dorm room in my sophomore year of college, but forgetting to ward the rest of the house...which meant that the Little Nasty just lurked by my door and scared shit out of two previously skeptical friends. Whoops.

2. What resource (book,etc) do you actively discourage people from reading?
Y'know, I don't. I'll tell someone if I think something is shite and why, but I don't even slap a certain author's tiresome tomes out of the hands of noobs (cough - silverravenwolf - cough). Even errata can teach us something.
3. A God you'd most like to shag? (We love blasphemy here at Adventures in Witchery)
Hm. Pan. And Aphrodite. Jointly and severally.
4. Favorite movie witch?
Ooo. Tough call. I can't pick just one, so I'll do a top three: Jessica Lange as Fiona on AHS: Coven, Britt Eckland as Willow in The Wicker Man, and Lachlan Morrison in The Wicker Tree.
5. Favorite actual witch?
Historically? It's a tie between Doreen Valiente and Biddy Early. Personally? All the ones I know and like, both online and in meatspace. Special shout-out to my coven, who, of course, are my favorite favorites.
Yes, I know, I am demolishing the meaning of "favorite". Shoo.
6. What first drew you to witchcraft?
The full moon in the woods on cold spring nights in upstate NY. A book called "The Active-Enzyme, Lemon-Freshened, Junior High School Witch." The idea, gleaned from reading about Native Americans, that everything has a soul. The idea, gleaned from the ancient Greeks, that there are many gods. And, being Irish, probably genetics - I don't think you can get the polytheism out of a Mick.
7. If you could go back in time to your newbie self, what mistakes would you correct?
I wouldn't almost ask out the Dean of Students' wife - no, wait, yes I would. Oh. That isn't what you meant, is it? Well, I'd have looked for BTW earlier, maybe. But all in all, everything I did and didn't do made me the witch I am now, so I can't say I'd "correct" anything.
8. Favorite tarot deck?
I like the Crowley deck, but I don't actually use them.
9. What drew you to your particular tradition?
The people and the feeling that I'd come home.
10. What magical or religious system outside of your own interests you?
Catholic nuns. I'm actually serious. I'd love to spend a month in a cloistered order under vows of silence. Also, the Mormons and the Amish.
11. Biggest pet peeve about online paganism?
Oh, please, like I only have one? The idea that just because you have an opinion, you should voice it - no matter how ill-informed you may be. The refusal to admit that if you're not part of an oathbound tradition, you really can't have all that much of an opinion about it. The refusal to admit that some things are provably, factually wrong.
Now let me think about who I can shout "TAG!" at and nominate.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Better Pissed Off Than Pissed On, Or Why Tao Jones Is Right.

Yesterday, I was looking at where else I might be able to afford to ride, and eventually leverage that into teaching again. I realized that I was feeling less crushed and despairing and more pissed off at my summary and rather shitty dismissal.

Then I thought, fuck this. You forgot. The Good Barn wasn't supposed to be forever - you lost sight of the end goal. You forgot, when you came home grieving and broken, that this was temporary, that all this has ever really been about is you eventually running your own show. Your own barn. Your lessons, run your way. You got comfy and you forgot. Re-break your horse, or pay someone else to do it - he'd actually pay for himself with two lessons a week. Don't go back to where you were, because it is gone for a reason.

And I looked at Tao's comment again, him saying he believes in me, and thought, how? He doesn't really know me. But maybe he does. Maybe Tao is a little smarter about me than I am, right now. Maybe he's right, and the thing to do is dust off my sandals and keep moving toward where I'm really supposed to be.

I have no idea how this will happen. I need at least two schooling horses and the room and time to teach. But I managed to pull my shit together posthaste and find us a place to live, two cars, and enough work that we survived rather well after The Hasband decided to call it quits. Surely I can pull this off. To quote Uncle Aleister, if I do my Will, no other shall say nay.

And who's going to look under my saddle to see if it's got sigils all over it, anyway?

Monday, March 31, 2014

And Now, "Sugar Hill".

I recommend this film because it is a Greek tragedy. Wesley Snipes is a drug dealer who keeps trying to get out of the business. He keeps getting dragged back in.

I got through my last lesson tonight without puking or crying or burning the whole damn place to the ground with the power of my grief. I kep trying to think that RO is right, vis-a-vis his whole "Congratulations On Your Recent Trauma!" post.(Linky.) I keep trying to tell myself that Good Barn was a mixed blessing, that maybe something better is coming and the Universe is just making room for it.

On the other hand, as Tao Jones so wisely said in his comment, "The glib response is to say, 't's all for a purpose' but I won't bullshit you with that stale Judeo Xtian surrender." Sometimes defeat is just that. It's not cleansing or making room. It's just failure. And that's what scares me - that it's time to sell the tack and the horse and just get back on the boat, and I'm just not accepting that.

So I grieve. I took my last look at the barn today. Supposedly I'm riding on Saturday, and I do fear that Barn Owner will try to make me pay for lessons I can't afford for this month, citing that I didn't give her notice despite the little notice I got from her. And if I don't suck it up, pay and take lessons, I may not be allowed to teach Special Student if she comes back in two months. Not that I have faith that they'll actually give her back to me at this point.

So many things swirling around in my head, so much struggle. I am so tired. So tired of this odd cycle of getting my heart broken every two years. I just want some peace and quiet. A routine, things I can count on. Stability and whatnot. 

And I have a bad feeling that the Universe does not have this in store for me any time soon.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Few Hours Later, "Apocalypse Now".

"Never get off the boat." - Apocalypse now

Maybe that's the problem. I keep trying to get off the boat. What would I do with my own barn, anyway? I can't train people to the Olympic level or even to the National Horse Show in New York, and who really wants to take lessons for years just to ride competently and have fun?

Put your head down. Stay on the boat. Go to work. Go home. Make food. Clean things. Sleep. Get up and do it again. Abandon the idea that there are Gods who care about your little life. Just put your head back down and get back on the damn boat. Outside the boat lay tigers, and even worse than being eaten by a tiger is failing to be eaten by the tiger.

All I want is to go home. Back on the boat, which is my mother's house, in the town I couldn't get away from fast enough in my late teens. I want to sit in her yard and refuse to ever move again until the coyotes come and either lick the tears from my face or eat my bones clean.

I am no longer a trainer, and I have no idea who or what I am now, so I don't much care which it would be. I just want some peace and damned quiet for a change. I am not a creator god, I am not a good witch who can't be kept down. I am just a tired woman who's been fighting too much for too long.

Pretty Fucking Far From OK.

From "Pulp Fiction":

Butch: You OK?

Marcellus Wallace: Naw, man. I'm pretty fuckin' far from OK.

The Good barn fired me today after my lessons. Apparently they have a new, full-time trainer to whom they're giving my lessons. My inflexibility in rescheduling lessons - never mind that my students have very few times in which they can reschedule and which the barn can allow a reschedule - is suddenly a problem. So I'm fired.

I can't afford to ride. I am no longer a trainer.

I now have a job which, while it pays well, does not pay well enough for me to afford A. a place with heating and/or B. lessons and/or C. for me and the Husband to save money to afford a place of our own and has far too much "we're all women so we have to be bitchy to each other" bullshit and a boss so mercurial that I have no faith that I won't be as summarily shitcanned some Monday morning.

I said goodbye to all the schooling horses this morning, and I didn't even know it. I am sure I will not be allowed to ride my friend's pony there anymore if I am not in the lessons I now cannot afford.

I am not a trainer. I will go to work, come home, cook dinner, and go to bed. The Husband keeps saying that everything will be OK. But from here, things are a pretty long fucking way from OK, and I see no way they ever will be again. Barn Owner's daughter kept saying that their new trainer can be full-time and flexible and acting as though I'd done something wrong and was being unreasonable by not being all chipper and saying "No, that's fine". She tried to tell me "this is what's best for the kids." I thought, just let me go, you've broken my fucking heart, I've been here for five years as a student and taught every lesson no-one else wanted for a year, and this is how you let me go? Isn't this really about this new trainer who's been here less than three months and the new Mercedes in your driveway?

Not that it matters. I'm not their trainer anymore. I'm no-one's trainer anymore. And if I'm not a good enough witch to keep the thing that makes me whole, is there really even anything else to ask, or that deserves an answer?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Stupid Strep.

The Sore Throat I was having yesterday did indeed ignore my attempts to ignore it, and so I have spent today on the couch, drinking herb tea that even NYU says will help and watching the end of "Big Love" and refraining from going and buying a copy of "The White Goddess" and drawing Maiden, Mother, and Crone analogies all over the place. And then mailing it to some poor beleaguered professorial type with a note that says, "HOPE YOU DIG MY THESIS HAVE SOME SRIRACHA POTATO CHIPS PEACE OUT."

Stay home, ocelot. You're sick.

Obviously, the only thing for a sick woman with no-one to whine at is read gardnerians and crack up at the following -

"Really, we’d rather spend our last 30 minutes doing something epic, like initiating anyone who walks slowly enough across our lawn."

See, I can picture this, because even if I have no talent for film, my brain thinks it needs to make stuff like this into little movies:

The door to the Trailer Of Doom creeeeeaks open, a pair of small hands shoots out and grabs a denizen of the Trailer Park Of The Damned and yanks them off their feet and inside the door. Muffled, rythmic thumping and loud chanting ensues for a few moments.

The back door opens. A pair of hands under the arms of a butt-nekkid, bewildered redneck lowers said redneck gently to the ground. Our Involuntary Initiate has beads around their neck and a black book in one hand. It's like an assembly line: person in, bewildered naked book-holding person out. Finally, one of the poor SOBs opens their book, and reads the following:

(camera zooms in)

(Big fancy letters) All this be Oathbound; keep thou secret our Rites and tell ye nought.

(page turns, camera zooms in again 'cause these letters are smaller)

(Plain text) That means, "Don't tell nobody."