Embrace the Darkness

Do you ever feel that you’re a failure if you can’t maintain happy perkiness all the time? I do, and I’ve noticed this wears me down, and I feel annoyed at myself because of it.

I’ve already realised that to open your heart in life means, to open it to pain and suffering as well as joy, because life contains both. Despite this – I was still hating and berating the mopey melancholic me, trying to squish myself back into perkiness as soon as possible.

no. NO!!! THIS IS ALL WRONG!

AAAAAARGGGGGGGGGH!!!!!!!!!(Cat gets angry(and it feels GOOD))

What then, for wolves?

“The persona is a complicated system of relations between individual consciousness and society, fittingly enough a kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and, on the other, to conceal the true nature of the individual.”

and

“Whoever looks into the mirror of the water will see first of all his own face. Whoever goes to himself risks a confrontation with himself. The mirror does not flatter, it faithfully shows whatever looks into it; namely, the face we never show to the world because we cover it with the persona, the mask of the actor. But the mirror lies behind the mask and shows the true face.”

– more quotes and such –
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Two things occur:

  • I still want to learn to make masks
  • Odd-paradoxically.. if I look in the mirror, I do not see a wolf. If I look into my soul, I find a wolf. Somehow, in wearing the wolf as a mask, I reach down to my core. Almost a reverse persona; or perhaps more an inner one. A mirror-mask. hmm…

(and another…the fursuits, the masks, costumes, online ‘characters’, we know all these are not ‘truth’ and in this is a power. (Magic works in the mythic space between true and false.)Because the rest of the time we risk getting lost in our own mental constructions. So..to hide inside, behind these tangible, solid constructions, we are yet simultaneously expressing to the world something of ourSelves. In the wearing of a physical mask, it is almost concretising the notion that we are always wearing a mask of somekind..exagerate to realise truth???

Everyone knows I am not a physical wolf, but there is something about Cat-the-wolf that is more fundamental to my being than Cat-the-daughter, Cat-the-shy-schoolgirl, Cat-the-university-student, Cat-the-disgruntled-employee.. perhaps because the latter are all adaptions and products of the current time, that rise and fall away as my cells change and my mind learns. I’ve not touched on this subject for a long time but it’s still important, still a mystery that begs question and yet can never be answered..part of the fun)

…hmm….

The wolf itself, has in the last few days emerged, slightly tentatively, from some dark core. I try to give her space, for tail wagging, shiny eyes, simple joy and scenting the air. With her come a million ideas for creation. And she needs no words.

realisation of the week: Don’t deny emotions!!

It’s incredible how much lighter I feel today. The last few days I’ve literally felt burdened down, heavy and sluggish. And all the time getting progressively more annoyed with myself for feeling crap, until it reached the catatonic stare into space zone, when I feel really far away from the world. Well that’s not surprising considering I’d effectively been retreating away from my own emotions!!

I’ve read enough about the importance of “living out your emotions” But fuck! I really believe it now!

‘Once felt, emotions change…’

wild

Now I’ve done the church-thing, and soothed of some of the edges, the anger is returning. The wolf stirs and a restlessness fills me and I must get out, and back to Life.

Something I’ve been meaning to do for a while is just go outdoors somewhere (maybe dartmoor, maybe by the sea, maybe somewhere with trees, maybe by a river) and just stay there all through the night till the sun rises again. I just want/need a few days of outdoors, walking, eating, sleeping and *nothing else* – and I should do this while it’s still summer, really. The idea of it scares me which is more reason to do it. I almost certainly want to do this alone.

If you’ve done something like this before I’d be interested to hear some tips/advice…

Woo!

“Women can experience a variety of sensations before, during or after their menses. Common complaints include backache, pain in the inner thighs, bloating, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, breast tenderness, irritability, and other mood changes. Women also experience positive sensations such as relief, release, euphoria, new beginning, invigoration, connection with nature, creative energy, exhilaration, increased sex drive and more intense orgasms.”

THANK GOD I FEEL REAL AGAIN
a surprisingly good page about the menstrual cycle

The page suggests some good tips for relieving cramping. Apparently ginger root tea is good (I love ginger, in fact it’s supposed to be good for a lot of things)
One of the tips is:

  • Ovarian Kung Fu alleviates or even eliminates menstrual cramps and PMS, it also ensures smooth transition through menopause

Anyone know what Ovarian Kung Fu is? I have these crazy images of ovaries in karate-gear jumping around kicking the shit out of evil sperm-ninjas… O_o

Jung

“It is not a matter of indifference whether one calls something a `mania’ or a `god.’ To serve a mania is detestable and undignified, but to serve a god is full of meaning and promise because it is an act of submission to a higher, invisible and spiritual being. The personification enables us to see the relative reality of the autonomous system, and not only makes its assimilation possible but also depotentiates the daemonic forces of life. When the god is not acknowledged, egomania develops, and out of this mania comes sickness” (Jung, C.W. 13, par. 55).
————

I’m not sure if I agree with Jung or not.

This is how it seems to me –

* god’s form a bridge between what humans can understand and can’t understand RELATE to (and what is beyond our comprehension)
* Whether it’s relating to something embedded in the twists of sinew and neurons of your body, or some myseterious and pervasive aspect of the universe (or both), it’s something real if intangible.
* relating to this in a certain way brings a sort of transformative power to a person’s life experience, which can be positive or negative (or both). Including – feeling at peace, empowered, supported, justified, challenged, horrified, pained, loved,awed.

Are god’s out-dated? Or can we still find salvation from our own madness by conjuring and sharing and living these concepts? How can you conceive of the world around us and not be driven to a frenzy of fear, pain, amazement and joy?

What kind of people feel the need to do this or think about all this or explore it? (apart from me) Is it better not to think about it at all than risk walking the edge between madness and ‘enlightenment’? Can you stop once you start? Can you get addicted to spiritual euphorias? Is it a slippery slope to madness? who is really kidding themselves?

I dislike extremes on this area. It’s easy, if not acceptable, to scorn if not hate religious fundamentalists, and yet to me those that say religions are “false” have missed the point altogether. Personally, I don’t like the term ‘religion’, I don’t like the word ‘absolute truth’ I prefer the terms ‘myth’ and ‘penultimate truth’; that which helps you grasp the truth but is not the truth itself. You can’t just write this shit out of human experience, the only option left to us is shove it all under ‘delusion’. ARGH!!!!!!

I see myth and gods and brains and evolution and culture and life and magic and science all woven up together. Sometimes I get so tired of having to seperate it all out into pieces.

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note:Writing this kind of stuff is probably one of the weirdest PMT-symptons I’ve come across. I feel far too much ‘in my head’ which is a bit like trying to comprehend something on another side of a glass wall, but the glass wall is full of cracks and the image is distorted.

It should make more sense in a few days… (all hail the chaos of women!)

*thunk*
..someone take me outside…

I’m following “the French Diet”

As with 90% of women, I get annoyingly worked up over fatty unhealthy foods and trying to keep a good weight. And everywhere you go these days you’re bombarded with messages over what to eat and not eat, calorie reduced food, fat reduced food, carb reduced food. It goes on.

But I decided a while ago that my motto can be reduced down to –
* Eat as little processed food as possible
* Eat as high quality food as you can afford
* Enjoy the preparation and consumption of meals
* Don’t stress over what you’re eating
and
* Eat smaller portions
* Eat slower (those last two I’m not so good at yet)

This is because I believe
– processed food is shite, nutritionally poor and full of sugar
– raw foods esp organic vegetables contains nutrients that actively make you healthier and are cheaper than buying vitamin supplements
– I prefer to give my money to local companies, butchers, farmers etc than Sainsburys, where possible
– Enjoying good food is one of my reasons to exist. 🙂
– “A little bit of everything is good for you” or whatever that adage is.

My best example is my mid-morning snack of a small handful of mixed nuts. My friend Rachel commented she would love to do that, buts nuts are really fattening. Not really – nuts are full of oils but are “good for you”, plus they fill you up quickly and personally I reckon are much better than a “lo-carb lo-fat chocolate flavoured snack bar only 204 cal!!!! (now just £1.99!)”

What I’ve learnt this week is that my approach is supported by, of all people, the French! read about why this is.

So good news for those who enjoy their food, bad news for the diet-food industry.

In this country (UK) we all go on about how American Portions are obscenely huge, in comparison to ours, which were ‘normal’. When I went to Japan though, I was struck for a while at how LITTLE food you actually got when you ate out. This was shortly followed by the realisation that the small portions of food were actually perfect, and the quality was so high it filled you up no problem.

Motto – Eat the best, enjoy your meal times, take it easy, savour your food, don’t stress! 🙂

Fire and water

It started with Chris-the-ninja, who I met on a train one day. We hit it off, and before long I stayed with him a summer weekend in Paignton; we sat on a harbour wall watching the light on the sea, then he took me to a little cove where we had a fire, accompanied by chinese take away and red wine. If I close my eyes I can still remember the warmth and woodsmoke. It was the first time to have a fire on the beach, and I loved it!

This year I’ve enjoyed more fires on the beach, and what strikes me now is how every one was different. The basic principle is always the same, like the centre of web – to commit indefinite hours to simply sitting by the sea, with friends, watching the flames burn.

Winter solstice, 21 decemeber 2004 found me huddled in blankets against the cold and dark, sharing methol cigarettes with Hikari-from-Japan, playing with cheap glow sticks and having my soul restored by friends. There was a defiant edge to this day, with a sense of possibility for the future.

6 months on, a day after the summer solstice and the night of a full moon, I returned to the same spot Chris had taken me to, but this time with a small group of friends, mostly girls. We drank wine to celebrate the end of Helen’s exams, and ate more chinese, and lit a small bright fire as the light faded from the near-longest day. We sang together, with rounds and old half-remembered school songs. Later I clambered around on cliff rocks to discover the rising moon. We had the beach to ourselves, at least once a furtive couple gave up and left.

The friday just gone, we had a jubilant fire to start of an incredible action-packed weekend. Friends were visiting from far and wide, we had two car loads of people this time.I spent some time talking with Rachel’s younger sister, Hannah, whose youthfull enthusiasm (and slight lunacy?) reminded me of something I was forgetting. With her encouragement, we ran into the sea, and splashed around, and swam. I felt so alive again, to do something silly and invigorating!
This time we weren’t the only people on the beach. A younger group yelled at us we weren’t allowed to have fires, but a bit later a guy came over with a peace offering off sorts, a small piece of wood. By the time I got out the sea, and it was getting dark, the two groups had become one and we all sitting round the flames. As I tried to dry my knickers, a couple of the guys took their shirts off and in a display of machoism started running into the sea as well. We played with Poi, and drank and danced a bit. I will mostly remember naked torsos and the cool of the sea. Later on we managed to get John and Zak to strip to boxers and holding hands with Hannah we ran crazily down to the water’s edge.
Sadly, the tide had gone out by then so we all threw ourselves onto rocks, resulting in various degrees of injury! Luckily nothing serious, like broken bones, but it just goes to remind you nature is not all soft and refreshing. (and that your parents had a point when they told you not to jump into water because there might be rocks!)

The rest of the weekend was action packed, sunny and restoring. Running about a kids adventure park, going on big slides and playing in ball pools. Going to an amazing Taiko concert again – Exeter is apparently the “Taiko capital of Europe”, and the local group drum something like a jazz variety, full of improvisation and movement. I’m in the process of signing up for a workshop – if I’m any good I might be able to audition to be a part of it! It’s mostly women, which would be good because right now I really want to spend more time with women (I get male overload at work currently)

Sunday, Kiroo took us to a river valley in Dartmoor, I clambered about on moss covered boulders and played in a river,paddling up to my thighs and using hands to explore and play with the flows and currents.

This weekend, I also realised that I have friends that care about me, and not only that, but believe in me. Even when they live at a distance. I’ve realised that support does not come from answers but understanding and empathy. Most of all I’ve realised that I have support, even if I can’t always see it in front of me. All this has been very encouraging and I got rather soppy about all my friends.

This weekend left me feeling encouraged, loved, and the restoration that comes from being closer to your nature. For me, this means lots of friends, outdoors, swimming in water, eating well, listening to drums and sitting in the sunshine.

Definitely want to do more fires… next one should be round halloween time…

Thanks to everyone who made it down to Exeter, for a great weekend.