Tuesday, December 23, 2008

rambling right along

It's been awhile since I've been here. Oh well, 'tis the season, I suppose. Too much to do - baking, decorating (or in my case, re-decorating, at least the tree), braving the malls with teenager in wheelchair - you think navigating crowds are bad, try moving through the masses with a wheelchair bound kid who has an uncasted broken leg.

And I try to keep it simple. I'm not really a Christmas person - I'm more of a Yule person. December 21, winter solstice, is the part of the season that I really love. I celebrated Yule with my "sisters" (I have a coven, we are now eight in number), in a beautiful, quiet way last Saturday. Some pagans see Yuletide as a return to the light - we are heading into longer days, and many pagans recognize solstice as a time of rebirth and new beginnings. Perhaps it's because of the climate, but I (and my coven) view solstice in a slightly different light. Although the days are starting to get longer, it is still dark. And it's cold. We stay inside, we keep ourselves warm, we wait, like the earth, for the warmth of the spring to renew us. Underneath the blanket of snow, things are stirring, there is life, but that life is quiet, contemplative, dark. I call winter the dark time. And I love it. What I dream in winter comes to life in the spring.

We celebrate Christmas as well - my family is Catholic, and Christmas has always been a time for family, a time for celebration. So there is still a lot of running around, visiting, preparations to be made. We're traveling to my parents' on Christmas eve, to spend our time sharing gifts and food. We've celebrated this way since I was a child. The only difference is that now I don't go to mass on Christmas Eve - I used to, and I sang in our choir for many years. I love the carols still, but hate the sitting and standing, and the prayers, prayers that are contrary to what I believe now - such as "I confess to Almighty God, to you my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault. In my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and what I have failed to do".....some things will be with me until I die, whether I want to remember them or not.

Once in a while, if I happen to be in church, I still make the sign of the cross. It bugs me because I have a problem with participating in an institution that is both misogynistic and homophobic, and so I stay away.

We have had a lot of snow this year, more than usual. Sometimes I just want to wrap myself up in a warm blanket and hibernate the winter away, dreaming, writing, curled up warm and comfortable while I watch the snow fall. But I love the snowflakes, the wind, the smooth curve of drifted, unblemished snow, walking at night under the streetlamps, alone. And don't let anyone tell you that miniature poodles are delicate creatures - my wee doggie loves the snow, loves to be taken for walks in places where he can run through snowdrifts and chase snow as the wind carries in in swirls around his head.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. And on Christmas morning I will have only one of my girls in the house - the oldest is spending Christmas Eve/morning with her boyfriend's family, and Emily will wake up with me, Her father will join us in the morning. My youngest will be driving with her dad to visit her other family, and I will be alone for a few hours on Christmas morning - after the gifts are unwrapped. It really doesn't bother me as much as I thought it might. I can relax a bit, drink some coffee, and gear up for another trip to St. Marys, with the older girl, for dinner. Stretches of time alone are not only bearable, but cherished, especially when a lot of life involves hurrying.

Something has shifted inside of me. Another shift, one of many that I have experienced this year. I'm contemplating life alone and I'm okay with it. For now. I'm not worried any more about how to earn a living because I'm proving to myself that I can make it financially without help, and without stress. I may have a new home in February, and the independence that will go with it - as long as I live in a house that we both share, I can never truly be independent, never shake his influence, and his subtle attempts to control. Or not-so subtle, as the case may be.

I'm growing more comfortable with my appearance - hey, when you used to weigh 300 pounds, weighing 170 is an adjustment, but it's a matter of recognizing my own face, feeling comfortable with the skin and body I was meant to have. I thought I would be curvy, and I'm not. I'm beginning to like it. My hair decided about three months ago that after 43 years of ambiguity, that it wants to be curly. I don't quite know what to do with it - I'm trying to grow it out to shoulder length, but it just keeps getting bigger instead of longer....

(I'm trying to get more comfortable with having my picture taken. It's just so damn hard to get used to.)

......my Yule gift to myself was a shopping trip. I need new clothes, because the old ones are all too big. Not that the old ones looked so hot... as a shapeless person I used to choose shapeless clothing. Now I'm actually able to accentuate something. I bought something that makes me look amazing...and if I can remember to buy batteries for the camera tomorrow, I might even post a picture.

And moment of moments, on Sunday afternoon, I walked into a lingerie store and walked out with a bra. Seriously. A bra with a single-digit cup size. A bra that fits. A bra at all....I've never been able to do that. Most of them came from the department store, untried, unfitted, and whatever style came in my size.

Well, that was a bit of a ramble. I guess that's what happens when you try to cram a week's worth of thoughts into a single post.

If I'm not back here before Christmas, I hope that everyone has a safe and happy holiday.


Earth Muffin said...

Same to you and yours...

I'm with you on the Catholic thing. I rarely find myself in a church these days, but when I do it drives me nuts that I still feel the urge to genuflect, do the sign of the cross and answer "Amen" to prayers that I don't agree with. I turned away from the church for the same reason you have, but as you said, some habits die hard.

You look great! I'm glad to hear that you treated yourself with some new clothes. You really deserve it.

Writes Like A Girl said...

Even our hair is parallel. Mine has been curly, when it is short wavy when long, and several months ago the curl just went away. Odd. I was Southern Baptist when I was a child and am now pagan. I do not belong to a coven but practice on my own, in my own way. I certainly understand how church could make you uncomfortable. I am glad you found like minded people with whom to commune.

Camlin said...

Somebody once told me that your hair changes every seven years. I can handle seven years of this...especially if the grey stays away.

There are some churches I feel comfortable in...Unitarian (they often lend us space for large ritual gatherings), the United Church (don't know if they exist outside Canada, but perform same-sex marriages and were among the first churches here to ordain openly gay ministers), other churches that are more liberal than others. The Catholic church...on one hand it is so familiar and comforting to be in that environment, and on the other hand, that sense of comfort is a false promise. My brother is in Boston right now, getting his Mdiv so that he can be a priest. That's hard.