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The Books of Vries: Mythical Misfit


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Need context? An updated intro here.

 

As I mentioned in the previous challenge, I am re-reading The Enchanted Life by Sharon Blackie, and it is giving me a lot to think about. I remember when I first read it, I thought "this is the book I wanted to write" but upon more reflection, instead it may be the book I was trying to live. That I still want to live.

 

The section of the book that most captures me right now is the one on the Mythic Imagination. This section discusses the modern cultural mythology (in short: Work harder so you can buy more stuff! And more! And more! Always with MOOOOOORE!) and how that's not exactly bringing most people much happiness or life satisfaction (and indeed quite the opposite). I've never been impressed with this modern myth, but I wasn't sure what to do instead (other than rebel). She had an answer: dive into mythology/folklore/fairytales and find a story and/or an archetype that does resonate with you. I'm currently at a crossroads where whenever I try to set my Big Picture goals and directions, they're not ringing true anymore--I believe that this exercise could help me find the ones I seek. (She calls people who live by alternative mythologies "mythical misfits.")

 

Another section that interests me is Belonging to a Place. Any place, even if you think it's only temporary. I'm very prone to staying detached to a place if I think it's temporary (which our current location is expected to be), but there is a cost to detachment and a risk of never belonging anywhere. Blackie suggests about learning the history, the folklore/mythology, the stories of your place. Spending time in it, and getting to know it intimately. I'm lucky to live in a place with hundreds (if not thousands) of years of documented or discovered history in its soil and water, but she also suggests using what you know and what resonates with you to create a mythology for the place if one is not readily available.

 

*

 

The Adventure

 

Mythic Imagination is more of an internal adventure. I want to explore deeper into the myths and symbols and folklore that resonates with me, and what it might mean. 

 

Activities: Research, journaling, reflecting. I may not have an answer in 4-5 weeks, but I want to take active steps toward it.

 

Belonging to a Place, at this stage, is a more physical adventure. It is about getting out and looking hard at where I live and asking questions. Who is this person in this memorial? Why was this place named this or that? I want to limit the wordy research this time around (as I'll be doing plenty of that in Mythic Imagination), but local history museums and the like are fair game. Because London is massive and has a lot of different personalities, I'm going to keep focused on my immediate vicinity.

 

Activities: Frequent walks in the area to find local history sites, and discover what there is to discover....

 

Don't worry--there will also be the usual baby pictures and some non-local adventures, too!

 

Mini Challenge Added: Be A Little More Like Molly

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Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Current Storyline: Tales of Owlshire | 0 | 1

Previous  Storyline: The Entwife’s Heart | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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9 minutes ago, annyshay said:

This sounds super cool. I may add this book to my ever growing list. Also, hi!!

 

Hi!


Also a goal of mine this Challenge is to actually keep up with other people's Challenges. *sigh* 

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Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Current Storyline: Tales of Owlshire | 0 | 1

Previous  Storyline: The Entwife’s Heart | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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1 hour ago, Ann of Vries said:

 

Hi!


Also a goal of mine this Challenge is to actually keep up with other people's Challenges. *sigh* 

 

I struggle with this, as well, but we are an understanding bunch because we all have lives and irl people (like babies :tongue:) in our lives who need our attention, as well. Do what you can, and enjoy the adventure. 

 

Following, of course. 

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Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals More

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle Earth

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

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I've noticed more intros this time around... I haven't done that in a while, have I?

 

 

I'm Ann of Vries, a traveler, a hiker, a storyteller, a diarist, a fiber artist, a gamer. I’m madly in love with my partner, Mr of Vries, and my now-nearly 4 month old son (how did that happen?), Rowan of Vries--usually known as the Enting. During this challenge, I will turn 39.

 

I'm not freaking out at all. Really.


Originally from Seattle USA, I emigrated to London UK about two and a half years ago and despite an utter lack of British blood (that I know about), I finally felt like I'd come home. Although I miss Seattle (and in particular my friendships there), the very land, air, and stone here calls to me in a way that the Pacific Northwest--as amazing and beautiful as it is--never did.  I may leave for stretches, especially as Mr of Vries' career often involves relocation (including international), but I think I want the UK to be the place we return to.

 

But honestly, who knows. My life has gone in so many unexpected directions....

 

My main struggle right now is understanding who I am now with this new responsibility of Mother. Life will never be the way it was before--of course it wasn't going to be--so what do I want it to be?

 

Let's see what I end up with....

 

Some future notes:

I like organization, but I don't like micro-managing, which is why I don't tend to do metric-oriented challenges. I'd like future ones to have a bit more structure, but it's difficult to have a structure right now, when my life is currently directed by the mercurial needs of a young baby.

 

Although caring for the Enting provides constant exercise (as lifting and carrying an 18 pound--and growing--baby is wont to do), I do eventually want to address the 10 or so extra pounds I put on during pregnancy that don't want to budge off. Not this challenge... but eventually. It's not just vanity--it's just enough that a significant portion of my wardrobe doesn't fit or feel comfortable anymore.

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Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Current Storyline: Tales of Owlshire | 0 | 1

Previous  Storyline: The Entwife’s Heart | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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I've been thinking about my personal mythology/folklore. I've considered what it once was--became a published author! Be a bestseller! Because when you write fiction, that has to be what you do, right? I mean, on some level it's practical: I want to sell my writing in order to write more. But in the end, I always found that it wasn't the writing that got me discouraged or burnt out. It was the chase for publication. (I think someone once posited that, statistically, you have a better chance of getting into the NFL than having a book bought by publishing houses.) I've also done self-publishing, but again, that may take out all of the queries and agents, but then there's the endless self-promotion and such that wore me out. 

 

I often feel like a failure. But the truth is that I haven't failed at Writing. I've written--and completed--20 novel length works in the last 20 years or so. What I've failed to accomplish is the hustle, is getting past the gatekeepers. Or, as things are measured in our collective culture: to make a profit with my writing. 

 

Of course, the answer is to change the story. This makes me uncomfortable. I've always written to tell the stories first, but without the chase to get it published/make money, then it feels like an indulgence, a flight of fancy. A mere hobby. Yet it's something I need. Every time I've burnt out on writing it's been followed by a depression. I need to write my stories.

 

So I must look into writing and how to approach it differently. If it's not for money, it's a hobby. If it's a hobby, then it's something likely to get deprioritized constantly, and then I don't write and then I'll get miserable that I'm not writing. Mr of Vries and I have been discussing this situation.

 

*

 

Now let us go further into a more recognizable mythology. What is my story? I've been considering this since first reading about Mythic Imagination and I always come back to two (or maybe four, depending) figures:

  • The Fates (Moirae, Norns, etc.)
  • The henwife

These, at first, may not seem connected, so bear with me. 

 

The Fates have long captured my imagination. Following and defying fate/destiny are constants in both my story and my life. I spin and knit wool (I also tried weaving, but preferred knitting), I've even done fiber arts professionally (and I'm considering doing so again, once Enting is a bit older--but that's a thread to follow later). The Fates and their spinning motif has always held me close.

 

When I researched into the Fates again for this exercise, something else struck me--the triple goddess aspect: maiden, mother, crone.

 

I'm no longer the maiden. And this in particular told me why my old goals and objectives no longer rang true. I am a new aspect. 

 

Let's pause there and now go into another figure: the henwife. You probably haven't heard of her, so let me copy this description from Terri Windling:

 

Quote

related to the witch, the seer, and the herbalist, but different from them too: a distinct and potent archetype of her own, an enchanted figure beneath a humble white apron. We find her dispensing wisdom and magic in the folk tales of the British Isles and far beyond (all the way to Russia and China): a woman who is part of the community, not separate from it like the classic "witch in the woods"; a woman who is married, domesticated like her animal familiars, and yet conversant with women's mysteries, sexuality, and magic.

 

I came across the henwife archetype days before I gave birth to the Enting, and you might imagine that it caught my attention. (It may also help to know that among my many life experiences, I used to have a (sub)urban farm with--yes--a flock of laying hens.)

 

Now, here's the thing with the Fates and the henwife--you won't find stories about them. You find them as parts of other people's stories. The Fates and the henwives, they're advisors. They're helpers. They're support cast to the stories of heroes.

 

I always liked playing support classes in RPGs. I always imagined myself as the wise woman that people come to for tea and advice (I have also been that person). I had often said, even before the Enting was a real possibility (my previous partner did not want children), that I wanted to be Molly Weasley--although not with seven children. Just the be the woman who takes in the folks in need, who has the tea on the kettle, and knows when to have a gentle hand or a sharp tongue. I counseled my friends in university (I had a longer-than-average gap year and a bit more life experience than they did.) I had even been training, at one point, to become a foster parent. I used to run knitting circles that brought people together in friendships that outlived my move abroad (and the end of those meet-ups).

 

*

 

Since moving overseas, I've found being part of a community much more difficult. Instead of being the elder of my social circle, I'm often the youngest (Mr of Vries is 13 years older than me; most of the people we hang out with are his friends and their families--and thus around his age, not mine). There are cultural differences to tackle. There is always the impending threat of moving. I'm used to being the mobilizer, not the hanger-on.

 

(A related story: On Friday night I was with an acquaintance who was bemoaning that he is the most competent of his immediate friends and thus a lot of responsibility kept falling on him for things to happen. I quipped that I used to be that person, and do you know how I got out of that? I married someone even more competent than me. It's like a permanent holiday! Except now I'm thinking that this may have clipped my wings in unexpected ways.)

 

This is not how I thrive. I bring people together. I help people.

 

Except I'm also a severe introvert in a strange land in which I have become the child, rather than the elder. Yet at the same time, I'm no longer the maiden, I'm the mother. It's confusing, but I know this:

 

I am not the Hero. I am the person who helps the hero realize his destiny. Despite what our culture tells us, I never wanted to be the hero. I never feel right when I'm trying to be the hero.

 

The answer is obvious: I need to find ways to get involved in, or create community. I should learn from my elders in this new land and work on becoming a wiser for when I find myself again an elder of my community. I need to learn and grow so I can help others learn and grow. I need to embrace these new aspects of my personal mythology.

 

Of course, these things are easier said than done. And how does it relate to writing my stories?  My ideal life involves expending a lot of energy supporting others on their journey, but I am introspective and an introvert at heart. My stories are how I recharge, that thing I do for me and me alone.

 

I don't have a plan or strategy yet. But I think I may at least have some idea of where my true north lies, and that's a good place to start.

 

More later,

 

AoV

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Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Current Storyline: Tales of Owlshire | 0 | 1

Previous  Storyline: The Entwife’s Heart | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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I find myself resonating with some of what you say. Especially in trying to connect to the "magical" in life. Your connection to the "henwife" archetype reminds me of the work I'm currently doing with my therapist: a truly Jungian approach, connecting with my inner "shadow" self and the ways that archetypes express themselves to/within myself. Finding ways to express archetypes helps us make sense of our place in the world, and our roles in our own stories.

 

Following to see where this takes you. :)

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5 hours ago, Jett said:

I find myself resonating with some of what you say. Especially in trying to connect to the "magical" in life. Your connection to the "henwife" archetype reminds me of the work I'm currently doing with my therapist: a truly Jungian approach, connecting with my inner "shadow" self and the ways that archetypes express themselves to/within myself. Finding ways to express archetypes helps us make sense of our place in the world, and our roles in our own stories.

 

Following to see where this takes you. :)

 

It's a great book. The author also does that sort of therapy, although this probably isn't much of a surprise XD

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Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Current Storyline: Tales of Owlshire | 0 | 1

Previous  Storyline: The Entwife’s Heart | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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Mini-challenge: Be a Little More Like Molly

 

244783682_borrowkitchen2.jpg.96d251471d4746549e3a058484f5ebe1.jpg

 

Mythic Imagination: Exploring the Henwife

I have literally prepared one home-cooked meal since the Enting was born. (A lamb tagine last week. It was awesome.) On the weekends, Mr of Vries makes delicious home-cooked fare, but during the work week dinners are leftovers or ready meals. Daytime food is whatever I can scrounge up--usually a ready meal or just nibbling on snacks constantly. I want to get cooking again. I miss it.

 

For this mini-challenge, I'm going to build up my ability to cook around the somewhat erratic routine of the Enting. Some of this is baby management, and another part of it is finding recipes that work well around caring for him.

 

Week 1: Make one home-cooked meal.

Week 2: Make two home-cooked meals.

Week 3: Make three home-cooked meals.

Week 4: Make four home-cooked meals.

 

CAVEAT 1: It doesn't have to be entirely made from scratch. If the grocery shop has pre-marinated meat on special, that's perfectly fine to choose.

 

CAVEAT 2: This is a stacking challenge, and what's shown above is the ideal. So, if on the second week I only make one home-cooked meal, I will adjust until I successfully can do two meals in a week, and then do three the next week.

 

Extra Credit: Belonging to a Place

I'd like to do more grocery shopping locally. We have a lovely butcher a mere 150 meters from our front door. The better veg/fruit, unfortunately, is about a 15 minute walk away, but that's not really that far in the scheme of things. We do a lot of online grocery delivery, and I intend to continue that (it's good for bottles and other heavy items as I don't drive), but I think I'd like to try to patron the local shops more in my quest to get back to doing home-cooked meals.

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Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Current Storyline: Tales of Owlshire | 0 | 1

Previous  Storyline: The Entwife’s Heart | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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I love reading your posts for this challenge.  You are on an amazing journey right now.  Becoming a mother isn't necessarily a single moment in time.  You gestated for nine months,  and it has only been four months since you met your child.  You are still becoming a mother you can recognize with confidence.  It took me years to feel sure about being a mother.  The transition is rough! Hang in there! 

 

If it helps,  find a community of others going through the same journey.  Find a mother's group or baby story time at a library. It my be your time to learn from others so you can teach other in time. 

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Mama Gnome, Healer and Crafter

Keeper of the Five Hobbits

All Around Awesome


 

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Definitely interested to see where this goes. The shifting of roles resonates with me as well. 

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Adventurer, Half-Dwarf Chaotic-Good Paladin

Ne me dites jamais les chances!  ¡Nunca me digas las probabilidades!

Character Sheet Training Logs Challenges Prepping for Adventure PrepAdventure Prep Fall BabyWhen Are We Again, Anyway?WhirlwindThe Leaf's LocusHarnessing Hamingja New Roots More Beginnings, More Roots Cleaning Up Facing The Hailstorm Yo Ho Yo The... Keto Life For Me? Taming the Beast Another Step Towards the Future Baking, Suburban Homesteading, and Health, The Adventurers of the Lucky Vale IIIIIIIVVVI, VII VIIIIX

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Perennial goals: Sleep 7+ hours a night, retain (and continue to learn) French and Spanish as a family, increase Spanish Proficiency for work and play,  read like a maniac on my own and with my kids, carry heavy stuff

Long term goals: Cut to 13-15% bodyfat, And now that I'm grown I eat five dozen eggs, so I'm roughly the size of a baaaaarge! -> Someday I'll challenge a Disney world Gaston to a push up contest and win

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This weekend we took our first ADVENTURE with the Enting. We drove a few hours to the west to beautiful Dartmoor in Devon for the weekend.

 

First, we stopped by Castle Drogo to stretch our legs (and give Enting some cuddle time as he wasn't happy in a car seat away from his parents).

 

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Then we went to the picturesque market town of Chagford. Chagford homes a lot of artists and writers in the "mythic arts" sector. The most famous is probably Alan Lee. Two years ago I been to the Mythic Arts Studio there, bought some prints and saw books I thought I might want when/if I had a child in the future. Now that we have a child in the present, I wanted to visit again....

 

chagford.jpg.1425ceea1a1ba4c84a59d3957523e7f3.jpg

 

Only we couldn't find it. Half the people we asked hadn't even heard of it.

 

Finally, we got down to the bottom of our mystery--it had been a pop-up that only shows up for about a month every year during an "open studio" event through Dartmoor (unfortunately, that month is September). We don't expect to go back next month, but we know for next year....

 

Then we went to stay for the night in this barrel-topped wagon. It was magical.

 

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The next day we left Dartmoor and went a little while northwards to our friends' J and S's country small holding. More than 10 years ago, they bought a Grade 2 protected thatched roof cottage that was in utter shambles. Uninhabitable. They planned to fix it up. Only last year did the planning permissions get approved! The couple and their two children (now one has gone off to and graduated from university, and the other is in his last year of schooling) have been living in a tiny Nordic shack all that time, only using the kitchen and a built-in shower/toilet block. (I call his wife "the most patient woman in the world"). The house is now under construction, and S has her dream kitchen and they have a bedroom and indoor toilets. The rest of the house will be completed in the next few years. Their teenage son now uses the shack as his man cave and only emerges for food....

 

They have lovely orchards, specializing in plums and Asian pears, and a rambling vegetable and berry garden. A field next door that is rented out, and acres of woods surrounding them. S fussed over the Enting and prepared us a delicious meal in her new kitchen, and Mr of Vries and I left with a lot on our mind. In many ways, they are "living the dream" that we aspire to and have talked about since early on in our relationship. But the downside to J and S's lifestyle is that to fund it, J runs a car garage in London... so he commutes about 5 hours each way, which in reality means that he stays in London 4-5 days a week. I'm glad it's worked for them, but that's a total deal-breaker for us, at least not in a long term situation like theirs. (But honestly, even in the short term--we don't get that time back later....)

 

(No pictures, because it's their private home and I respect that.)

 

Still, S embodies some of the "hen wife" attributes I've been thinking about, and we have serious house and garden-envy. Mr of Vries and I are discussing what we'd be prepared to sacrifice for such a living situation... and we'd like to get there in the next few years.

 

More later,

 

AoV

 

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Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Current Storyline: Tales of Owlshire | 0 | 1

Previous  Storyline: The Entwife’s Heart | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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Mini-challenge Update:

 

Monday night I baked piri piri chicken (from the local butcher), sautéed and balsamic vinegar courgettes with red onion (from J and S's garden!), and rice.

 

It was yummy.

 

I'm hoping to cook again tonight, as my time is a little more compressed later in the week--something big that will have more leftovers. Current plan: Ann's Famous Game Night* Jambalaya (or at least my altered recipe, because andouille sausage doesn't exist in the UK >_<)

 

(By which I mean "RPG night" as I used to make it when we hosted TT RPGs at our house. Because, geeks.)

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Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Current Storyline: Tales of Owlshire | 0 | 1

Previous  Storyline: The Entwife’s Heart | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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2 hours ago, Ann of Vries said:

Mini-challenge Update:

 

Monday night I baked piri piri chicken (from the local butcher), sautéed and balsamic vinegar courgettes with red onion (from J and S's garden!), and rice.

 

It was yummy.

 

I'm hoping to cook again tonight, as my time is a little more compressed later in the week--something big that will have more leftovers. Current plan: Ann's Famous Game Night* Jambalaya (or at least my altered recipe, because andouille sausage doesn't exist in the UK >_<)

 

(By which I mean "RPG night" as I used to make it when we hosted TT RPGs at our house. Because, geeks.)

Ooooh, sounds delicious. Willing to share your famous recipe?

Love as thou wilt.

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43 minutes ago, annyshay said:

Ooooh, sounds delicious. Willing to share your famous recipe?

 

It's based on this recipe, but doubled to feed several hungry gamers XD  I added more tomato paste for richness and skipped the garlic and garlic salt because garlic makes me ill and salty foods makes my partner ill XD

 

These days I use frankfurter sausages and a cajun spice mix we get from the market to try to replicate the andouille sausages. It's not perfect, but I suppose it's a sacrifice of living abroad :P

 

 

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Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Current Storyline: Tales of Owlshire | 0 | 1

Previous  Storyline: The Entwife’s Heart | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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Mini-Challenge Week 2 completed by the skin of my teeth!

 

I was having a very challenging day with the Enting, but I managed and now I have leftovers to nom on for much of the week.

 

Here's hoping Entings and Eatings are both a bit less challenging for the next few days. *collapses*

 

 

 

 

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Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Current Storyline: Tales of Owlshire | 0 | 1

Previous  Storyline: The Entwife’s Heart | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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1 hour ago, Jett said:

Well done! I hope the Enting settles down for a nice long night's sleep so you can get one, too. ;) You've definitely earned it.

 

Today went better, at least until bedtime ^_^ Luckily, he was early into the "sleeps through the night" thing. Unluckily, he was also an early teether :P

 

But hey, he's darn cute.

 

39261722_2030737747238410_7797876596085358592_n.jpg.0846107d7fb580e780a90422e97443d8.jpg

 

 

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Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Current Storyline: Tales of Owlshire | 0 | 1

Previous  Storyline: The Entwife’s Heart | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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On 8/22/2018 at 4:21 PM, Ann of Vries said:

 

Today went better, at least until bedtime ^_^ Luckily, he was early into the "sleeps through the night" thing. Unluckily, he was also an early teether :P

 

But hey, he's darn cute.

 

39261722_2030737747238410_7797876596085358592_n.jpg.0846107d7fb580e780a90422e97443d8.jpg

 

 

 

This really made me smile this morning. Thank you. He is precious.

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Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals More

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle Earth

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

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Belonging to a Place Update

I have been doing this--taking local walks, taking pictures, plotting a post talking about my favorite places within 5-10 minute walking. But... haven't had time to put it together :P This is a long term project, so maybe it'll happen next challenge!

 

The thing about the Docklands is most of its history is pretty grim. Lots of violence, thievery, etc.  (For example, we live on the site (original building long gone) of one of the most famous serial murders in London pre-Jack the Ripper.) I'm thinking about shifting my focus to the Thames itself... looking into river and marsh folklore. More on that later, when I have time to look into the Thames a bit more (literally and figuratively) XD

 

I've also been trying to go to the local butcher and grocery more often when I am plotting a dinner plan.

 

We invited a friend and her baby over who was feeling down last night for dinner, despite having had plans for a quiet night in. I taught her how to use my mei tai baby sling and am letting her borrow it for a while. (I have still have my ring sling, and I recently ordered a buckled carrier--as well as borrowing Mr's until it arrives. Since I carry Enting a lot, I think it's good to have different options. RSI doesn't just happen to wrists. And it means I can teach and loan the odd one out. I think baby carrying is awesome, and want to share the love.)

 

Also making a point of seeing a friend of mine who has also been struggling, even when circumstances aren't totally convenient for me. I think it helps everyone.

 

This is all part of belonging--being part of a community.

 

Mini Challenges Update

On hold. It's my birthday at the end of this week and Mr of Vries wants to do most of the dinners this week. So I'll resume next week with a 3 dinner challenge.

 

Enting Update

Meanwhile, I'm watching the Enting who is trying to learn how to roll over, and just had a growth spurt. He's EVEN LONGER NOW.

 

Mr of Vries and I are talking positively about growing the family by one more. Not right away, but starting to try in the next year or two. (Enting took a year and a half to conceive.)

 

Mythic Imagination Update

I'm slowly making my way through If Women Rose Rooted, Sharon Blackie's earlier book. It has a lot of the same sensibilities as The Enchanted Life, but is more of an eco-feminist book than aimed at a general (gender and otherwise) audience.

 

It's a lot of food for thought. One thing I'm still trying to come to grips with is the idea of not being The Hero. This need to be the hero feels ingrained. Can I be satisfied standing in the shadows, helping others shine?

 

Another is a problem I've often had--being a person of mixed race and cultures (and having added more with my marriage and move abroad), no single mythology or folklore from a culture ever "fits." Celtic, which is so poplar with my more pagan-leaning peers always felt cold to me. I just don't relate to it at all. And being a storyteller, I feel compelled to create my own stories. But stories are told about heroes, aren't they?

 

I'm also trying to find "hen wife" examples in contemporary literature. Molly Weasley, of course. Taveth from Lifelode (Jo Walton). The witches of Discworld (especially in the Tiffany Aching books). 

 

I'll leave off with a link where Blackie talks about the post-heroic journey. This comes up in both of her books that I'm reading/have read. And I'm thinking a lot about it. Maybe I don't need to conquer the world. I need to learn to live in it, where I am.

 

More later,

 

AoV

 

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Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

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