Dear Dear Diary
I'm in charge of something rather large this weekend (or so it feels at this moment). so I'm going to be light on the insightful comments and flairs of mad dreams this week.
I don't know if I'll even be sleeping.
But hey, I just got Tetris for the DS, so I may not notice between that and my job.
Did I mention how happy I am to HAVE a job? Paychecks are good.
After watching much of the "Gospel According to Judas" last night before falling asleep, I have to admit that gnostic gospels are fascinating to me. So many new books have come to light of late- the Gospel of Mary, the Gospel of Thomas... I do like the fact that they are spurring more spiritual talk. I think everyone could use a little more sprituality in their lives. I know I'm not the only one out there with dubious feelings towards organized religion and yet still has no difficulty in believing in God. Some days I feel only nominally Christian just because I was raised in a Christian nation. And if you don't believe this is a christian nation, you haven't been paying attention in December. Easter is almost as much of an economical presence as St. Valentines Day, and really, when was the last time you had a day off for Yom Kippur?
I would not be surprised in the slightest if a new Gnostic church is founded within the next 5 years or so. It would be a church that nominally considers themselves to be Christian, but would accept many of the teachings of the gnostic gospels that considered herecies. More relevant to the culture of today, they likely would embrace the role of women, and of self-interpretation/knowledge, thinking for yourself and a personal relationship/knowledge of God. Of course Catholics of all kinds would dislike it intensely, but I can see it being moderately popular.
The biggest danger to it of course is that any organization that attracts people who have an interest in being the movers or shakers of this new religion and have the required charisma to get such a religion moving are likely going to be the sort of egotisitical power-hungry folks that set people like me's teeth on edge and drive them away in roves. No church, imo, should be a religion of sheep and they should not be led by wolves. Douglas Addams had one thing right- he who wishes to lead is least fit to do so.
In "The Four Graces" by D.E. Stevenson, a periennial favorite of mine in the English cottage romances of the 40s, there is the line "When the half gods go, the gods arrive." One of the characters muses on it and realizes her affections for one gentleman who has married her sister are naught compared to her love for another. I'd often mused about the library like Liz looking for whence the quote came. Today, I googled it.
Give all to love;
Obey thy heart;
Friends, kindred, days,
Plans, credit, and the Muse,--
'Tis a brave master;
Let it have scope:
Follow it utterly,
Hope beyond hope:
High and more high
It dives into noon,
With wing unspent,
But it is a god,
Knows its own path,
And the outlets of the sky.
It was not for the mean;
It requireth courage stout,
Souls above doubt,
Such 'twill reward,--
They shall return
More than they were,
And ever ascending.
Leave all for love;
Yet, hear me, yet,
One word more thy heart behoved,
One pulse more of firm endeavor,--
Keep thee to-day,
Free as an Arab
Of thy beloved.
Cling with life to the maid;
But when the surprise,
First vague shadow of surmise
Flits across her bosom young
Of a joy apart from thee,
Free be she, fancy-free;
Nor thou detain her vesture's hem,
Nor the palest rose she flung
From her summer diadem.
Though thou loved her as thyself,
As a self of purer clay,
Though her parting dims the day,
Stealing grace from all alive;
When half-gods go,
The gods arrive.
Make of it as you will.
A feather falls.
She watched it drift, and then turned to look at his hand upon her wing. "You must let me go," she said.
"You mustn't leave!" he hissed. He tried to use his leverage on the wing to make her face him, but his hand slipped on the black feathers.
She shook out her wings, still careful not to buffet him. "It is time." She looked away and up. "You know I was never meant to come this far."
He wanted to deny it. The proof was in the wings. His had shrunken and turned leathery, just as the others had. Hers were still strong and full- the only difference was the color. No longer were they pure white, nor were her eyes the pale colorless blue as they all had once. He knew his eyes had gone pure black- but hers were merely violet, and just as exotic. Her skin was still the milky pale, but her hair was as raven as the feathers. His own skin itched with green. He hated it. Hated the changes. Hated why the changes. She was all that was left that truly reminded him of how much they had changed, and he loved her as much as he hated her and what she represented.
"You will be more content with me gone." She stated it as a fact.
He hated how much she knew, but he had never kept anything from her. It would have been denying something essential within himself, and he never denied himself anything. "I will be more happy with you here," he insisted.
She looked at him then, the misshapen shadow of what she remembered him. She did not allow any emotion on her face. "You have forgotten happiness," she told him.
He remembered then that she never did lie. Never could. He hated hearing truth from those ruby lips. He wished then for a moment to rend her wings off so her choice would be taken from her.
Then her face betrayed her sadness as a tear gathered on her cheek. "As I have." She turned away before he could watch it fall like a diamond in the darkness. "It's time." She launched herself into the air, and flew away towards the light.
Alone again within himself, he watched a single feather fall, turning white before bursting to ash.
"Find yourself another place to fall
Find yourself against another brick wall
See yourself as a fallen angel"
These lyrics are haunting me, in a good way.
I now want to make a wallhanging for my own benefit... I picture the one image built-
the backgrowun is rows of grey lines suggesting buildings or balconies or windows, washed over with a layer or 3 of tulle of yellow and orange making beams shining down. The next layer is the balcony itself, with arched openings and pillars, and a ballustrade, with a couple of potted flowers placed in the sunny part, as if to catch the rare sun, and the front layer- the woman, ageless, in a full red dress, black hair, black feathered wings just starting unfurl, and she is reaching up and out, not looking at the camera point of view. A single feather floats down to her fingers.
I think it would be beautiful.
I've been debating with myself about rejoining Curves for another year. I really am too fat and out of shape, and Curves has helped with that issue. I'm a huge miser in some respects- if it's something I don't want, I don't want to spend money on it. So joining a gym with someone of my hatred of most exercise was an extreme measure. I really wanted to get in a better shape than just round last year, and made that for a New Year's resolution. I even did see the other side of 200 and it was a lovely thing.
But the bad thing about Curves is the fact that it's used by other Women. Other Women on their way to work, who gussy up to go out to the gym because it's their only social outlet, or who are just plain habitual perfume wearers. And yes, they all smell. Collectively, that gym is every floral and musk tone imaginable, which is highly toxic to my system.
But I was good- I went 5 days a week and spent as long as I could stand it (sometimes in and out, sometimes as long as an hour, average was about the recommended 30 minutes). And I lost a lot of inches.
Unfortunately, between Colin, my gram, and the February/March decorating scheme (she put scented candles all over, but the ones right by the machine at head height really got me!), I've been having trouble keeping to the schedule. So I think I'll let it go.
What I tried tonight- because I've resolved that I MUST still exercise or grow ever larger which is simply unacceptable- was get on the exercise bike we bought the first time I wanted to try exercising regularly. Which I did do. For about a month. Then it got moved to the back bedroom where there is no TV and the radio no longer works, so nothing to do or thing about while using it. Tonight I took up the handheld game, Nintendogs. Yup, I played with my puppy Tilly and took her for a long walk with agility and disc training. Took a good 20 minutes to properly care for her for the day, as the game suggests. And I didn't notice the time go by. So I think I'll look into playing the game daily... on the bike. :) The only bad side was my crotch fell asleep. I think I'd better pad that seat a little better...
I got the KT Tunstall album, Eye to the Telescope.
It's more than just the one song, "Big Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" (which is one of those songs that once it's in the brain just doesn't want to stop, and they won't play on my radio stations), but I'm pretty sure that's the only song that will get attention (i.e. radio play).
Far too much of it is as mellow as Suzanne Vega (another of my periennal favorites), but there are a few more that sound like the kind of jazz I like- more vocal than random noise, more infectious than insidious. And the messages are more independent like I think I like to be. More importantly, my brain travels through these songs and comes out with a pen in hand and intent to do some damage.
And really, I think that's a good thing.
NECRO STORY - cut scene
Tyrrae leaned back against the sheltering tree, safely out of sight of the two chattering maidens. They looked like pale shadows of other girls in another courtyard from a memory that could have been far away and long ago, but she was pretty sure it was last week. They chattered about possible mates as if they had the right to choose, and Tyrrae knew some did get that choice from weak parents, and worse, some girls took that choice from their parents, destroying the honor of generations of the family. And there were those males that took the choice from family, girl and honor, but they did not live long. Those girls were sent to the temple to make what life they could after. Often if a babe resulted, the mother herself would offer her in sacrifice, but anyone sent to the temple quickly learned how to prevent the issue from getting that far.
Foolish chatter. They were laughing loudly and showing emotions, ignorant of the dangers, explaining sentry locations and how to just stroll right by! Tyrrae thought for a moment about how easy it would be to slide by, taking a fine length of silk for a garotte and making short work of any sentry not vigilant... But she did not want to waste a corpse, and she was too uncertain of this new cavern and its dangers to feel secure enough to get her workings done to make the new slave. She controlled her anger with the thought that there are probably much more dangerous things than her out here.
Opening her mind and her eyes to that thought, she finally spotted the orc, not terribly far from her, intent on the chatter of the shining center of the clearing ahead. She smiled softly. What she needed was even more information, and more comfortable access to these pale shadows of women and their people. That orc may be one way. She felt in her pouch for a pinch of Grandfather's ashes, and carefully whispered the words that would animate a simalcrum with his spirit...
It begins to rain.
I know it will rain this strong about 10 minutes before it does. Pepe will twine himself among my feet and foot pedal. Dog attempts to sit under my desk as well. Jazz takes the hint and runs outside with the camera. I like storms. They wash the air clean and are beautiful in their drama.
Missed it again.
Yesterday was the perfect day. Beautifully sunny, warm, and moderately dry- the perfect day to leave the doors open (which I did), or to go outside and garden (which I did not, too much stuff on deadlines to do). The tree pollen stopped (so did that migraine) but the flowers hadn't begun blooming yet. The ground isn't quite frozen any more so digging can be done. I should have made the time to go out and get the herb garden in order or plant something in the front area that looks so absymal now that the bush is gone.
Today promises to be another equally sunny and warm day, but I have to close the windows. The flowering bush in the back yard bloomed as did the hyacinths in the front yard. I had the windows open for all of 15 minutes before the sinuses kicked in and suggested maybe that was a Bad Idea. Sigh.
I moved a LOT as a child. As a young adult, living in apartments, I moved a lot. I used to seriously long for my own garden (not of vegetables or useful things, but of flowers and herbs and catnip). When I was England, I would go on very long walks and peek at the gardens of everyone's homes. Where ever there was a bit of earth, someone cultivated it and usually it was very aesthetic. I don't think the English have what we would think of as an empty lot- a forest of weeds and trash and stunted trees. I was excited by the slope of our yard- slopes meant rock gardens to me, which are very pretty and easy to maintain once they are set up. The huge amount of slope we have would mean a very large rock garden and oh I could putter in it for years getting it perfect. The Secret Garden, where Mary asks for "just a bit of earth," was a very touching and compelling scene to me, and I understood her the most right then.
But I didn't bargain with these *bleep* allergy problems. It's hard enough leaving the house some days. Going outside and working in the dirt is very satisfying, but it's not much fun if I am incapacitated for days after about 30 minutes of serious fun. And it's not something I've ever felt like asking Jazz to do. He's not hired help I can command to do X or Y just so. I always hated being ordered about for such lawn work, and I don't want to make him do anything either.
So I just get wistful every spring. I want to be out helping things come back alive. But I like breathing more. I used to have an indoor garden, but not any more. It's very hard to have one when the cats have commanded the window sills. Oh well. I'll try to enjoy the spring more by watching the cats bathe in the more frequent pools of sunlight, and the dog just lying in the sun baking her old bones.
I did get the mini blocks done, and mailed. I also mailed squishies to those that sent them to me. What are squishies? Bits of fabric in an envelope are squishie when you moosh them. Yes, I'm over on rec.crafts.textiles.quilting, and it's just something we do yonder. Squishies tend to arrive here when I really need them, like the bit of pink flannel with cats on from a friend in Canada. It was sent when I posted the story of Colin and his quilt, so that I could include it when I made my new quilt for myself. I did. :) Even though I really don't do pink. Hey- it had cats on, and it was well intentioned. I'm certainly not sending it back! It meant a great deal the day it came. I needed that pick-up. So when I could use the scraps to make catnip pillows, of course I made a few with the pink too. I saved one though, and I sent it back to the Canadian friend. She has three other cats, even though she lost one about the same week I lost Colin. But I didn't just send a catnip pillow- I sent a fat eighth of fabric with fishies all over it. :) That felt good.
Last night I started more inroads on the dragon baby quilt. I keep forgetting that the interface drawing is supposed to be mirror image, and I keep putting it on the wrong side of the fabric. So I've been trying to use batik fabrics (that don't have a wrong side). I still messed up one of the dragons that was supposed to be a really stark purple with blue streaks... he's going going to be rather shot with grey by using the back side front. Oops. I ought to fix it, but I don't have more of that fabric.
I hope to get the layout done and the blocks made by the weekend, and maybe I can get the top done and quilted by the weekend. Then I have to change gears and go back to calligraphy and illumination for my crafting. The backlogs are calling my name, and I have to make award scrolls for Axes & Ales.
It's sunny and warm out. The hiacinths are trying to bloom. This is probably the very short week that I could actually go out and work in the garden- after the tree pollen and before the other flowers start to bloom. I was sad to discover that Easter lillies set off my allergies. I was in the grocery store next to them while trying to check out and forgot my PIN number and didn't remember if I had another card I could use instead or how much cash that meant, because I could not think straight. I ended up handing my wallet over. Fortunately, the cashier has seen me on better days, and knew what was wrong. I do have all my cards in my wallet still, so it's okay. My head cleared as soon as I got back outside. I honestly don't remember lillies setting me off before.
Cat highways- Jazz and I have computer desks that sit back to back in our office. That means the leg holes are opposite. We call this area the cat highway. The area is actually a barrer of the usual wires, plugs, uninterruptable poer supplies, foot pedals, foot rests, etc. Only a cat would want to navigate that safely, and all of them wind their way through, since Dog won't. Dog sits at the end of our desks and lounges when we are both in the office. Therefore the Cat Highway is the safest way to get from the Kitchen and Bathroom, to my corner with all the cat beds.
Recently, Jazz and I got LCD monitors. Yes, Thin monitors. Less desk space than the CRT monsters. And now, there's an upper gap where we can *peek* at each other. It took about a month before a cat realized- hey! I can SEE through that. That means, I can WALK through that. And Pepe found the Upper Cat Highway.He just spent a whole 15 minutes sitting on my desk between keyboard and monitor. Fortunately, my monitor is raised so I don't have to push him down and out of the way. If I actually made the effort to *clean* my desk, he might even lounge on the desk more often.
I know. That's crazy talk around here.
Goal this weekend- make the blocks for the mini-block swap. Sure they're due May 1, but that doesn't mean that I ought not do 'em afore time. I certainly won't have time in the two weekends before that! Not sure what pattern to do, but I gots the fabric washed and ironed. Which is something I confess I rarely bother with. I R Lzay. I'll also watch Jzz win the dart league championship, I'm pretty sure. I have something to do while I wait and watch.
Because someone asked me, here's how I made the kitty catnip pillows:
The scraps I used were flannel, 3 x 6 inches. Felt also works well. For cotton, you want two layers, because the fabric will get chewed and you want something kinda durable. I just folded them in half - wrong sides together, making roughly a 3" square and sewed around two of the open sides, and the corner, leaving just over an inch opening. Then you turn it inside out, so you see the right side of the fabric. The easiest way to stuff is to roll a small-ish piece of paper into a funnel and dump about a tablespoon or two of catnip. Remove funnel and push down lightly with your finger. Tuck in the raw edge, and sew with a zig-zag or decorative stretch stitch. And that's all.
I think when I make the cat quilts I'll sprinkle some on top of the batting under the top and quilt it in, for a little something extra.
I feel good for the moment. Despite the migraine and the stressed knot between my shoulders and a few other complaints I don't even want to think about let alone mention.
I mailed off a huge bunch of catnip pillows. :) I had all this flannel left over from making myself a new lap quilt and all the pieces were about 3 x 6 inches- perfect to fold over and sew, and stuff and sew, and viola, catnip pillow. Mice are fussier. Pillows are fast and just as effective. All of the cats took turns sleeping on the pile of finished things, and Tom even walked around the house for a while with at least one stuck to his back. We still have a few around, and I have more catnip I haven't opened yet.
Bliss is Pepe trying to curl up into a huge tub o' nip. Or Tom lying on his back on the pile with a few tossed onto his belly for my amusement. This certainly made me feel good. :)
Next on the sewing agenda- Dart shirts for the Team. Then the baby quilt (which has the design part done, I have to pull out fabrics and Iron for the next step). Then maybe I can play again with cat quilts, I hope. I hope. I have bought the batting for a lot - I just need to make them. :)