April 2017; you should see her now!
This post is not going to be about Witchcraft, Magic, Kindred building, Sorcery, Bad Witches, Stephen King, or even food or gardening.
Except that it is.
This post is not going to relay to you all of the details about where my behind has been for the last two years and what I’ve done and who I’ve done it with (and without) and how this or that came to fruition or about the evolution of my relationship to The Ancestors and The Gods or about the answer to life, the universe, and everything.
Except that it is.
This post is not going to explain how, after losing my job and my faith and my in-laws, I lost my home and my spouse and my partner and my dog (dammit). And it’s probably not going to say too much about how I gained a business in a new town, a new love interest, a new house, a new work environment (or two), and a new perspective on life.
Except that it is.
This post certainly isn’t going to pick up right where we left off; because it can’t; because I can’t; because I’m not the same person anymore and I’m sure my voice has changed entirely: the narrative and narrative approach certainly has.
That part is completely true.
This post is going to be about what I did today. Just today. Because now is all that really matters, after all.
And, just let me put this down here and walk away: the universe already contains everything. Including bacon. Especially bacon. I’ll get to the bacon later.
I’ll begin at the beginning as David Copperfield teaches us is best.
I woke up earlier than I have been. My sleeping patterns have become wacked over the last month; not that they were great to begin with. So, waking up early (voluntarily) was pleasant. I have the best jersey sheets in the world (sometimes they invoke a bit of a tussle, but that’s not altogether undesirable) and my room smells earthy—typically of lavender, sex, and herbs. I enjoy having a room to myself, a house to myself. For someone who thrives on companionship, I really like living alone. I’ve become accustomed to waking up alone. I’ve even begun genuinely enjoying it. It allows me the opportunity to wake at my own pace without the need to tiptoe for fear of disturbing another, without the rush of preparing breakfast for whoever is simply going to die without coffee and divine-or-otherwise-bacon. I listen to podcasts connected via Bluetooth that echo through the Turn-of-The-Century Southern architecture that surrounds me. I play Madonna and Flogging Molly and Rammstein and Nina Simone and Hozier and (sometimes) Migos and Nathaniel Ratliff and The Decemberists on my Firestick TV as loud as I like and without fear of judgment. When I’m not at work, I wear knitted knee-high socks and Mukluks and shorts and ratted shirts and hoodies and a ponytail and my ancient glasses. I don’t wear makeup. I cook when I’m hungry. I sleep when I’m tired. I poop with the door open.
This morning it was cold, so leaving my heated room was a little harder than usual. I consumed coffee with CBD and heavy cream and the last chocolate Pop-Tart, relished love on my three needy cats, changed into work clothes, packed some supplies, and headed to the bank and then the store I own in my tiny new town.
While tending my shop, I have long stretches of downtime with busy spurts where atypically joyful people come in and stare in wide-eyed wonder at the interior, the wares, my mischievous hair. The shop smells of coffee, tobacco, and magic. I watch movies—it usually takes me all day to watch one film—listen to more podcasts, surf the web, grade student work (I also have a position as Assistant Professor of English and am teaching Shakespeare and Film), order new merchandise, talk with friends, and read Tarot. Not all at once, of course. Today I wrote this.
Today I have some special projects going on: I’m expanding my business and this involves paint and hammers and Gorilla Glue and a surprising number of curtain rods. Today I took some phone calls from vendors and would-be-vendors. Yesterday, I got two out-of-the-blue calls from old Kindred folk, so today held follow-up messages. Today I started research on my next business venture. Today I did a little house shopping. Today I thought about getting a puppy.
Tomorrow I may look at trucks.
A thought occurred to me over and again: “What a year.”
The store is just shy of its first anniversary and the last year seems to have drifted by so effortlessly. I know it hasn’t. When I think about the chronology, it really hasn’t. At all. Like, not even a little. Like, there wasn’t a week that went by there for a while where I didn’t feel like Life had dumped my purse out on the table in the library during detention. I think about all of the hardship and loss that went into the inception of this business and the world I had to build on my own in the wake of all that hardship and loss; I remember the trauma (emotional and physical) that brought me to a place where rising from the ashes was the only option I had left. I remember it, but I don’t feel it anymore. It all feels so easy now. I even quit smoking. And I only drink rarely—and look forward to drinking even less, because … damn; let’s just take a moment to remember that PTSD and alcohol are not a good mix.
I had my annual March break-up in February, a little early, I know, but not everything can sustain to the full year mark. My heart was shattered. But having survived three MAJOR breakups in three years (one of which was a divorce), I learned some things. The most important thing is that someone else’s feelings are none of my business. Cain’t fix ‘em; cain’t change ‘em, cain’t take ‘em personally, and cain’t let ‘em rule your world. The only reason I mention it was that it may have been just what the proverbial doctor ordered. The metaphorical straw that broke the camel’s back. The idiomatic final drop in the water clock. The not-so-figurative-right-thing-at-the-right-time that made this particular Witch sit on her hands (read this and say, “doctor heal thine own danged self”), drop the oars, button her lip, and all of the other weird phrases we use to say the same thing.
For two-and-a-half years, I couldn’t find divine. I knew it was there, I just couldn’t access it. For two-and-a-half years, I couldn’t find my (writing) muse. I knew it was there, I just couldn’t access it. For two-and-a-half years, I couldn’t find (business/work) inspiration. I knew it was there, I just couldn’t access it. For two-and-a-half years, I couldn’t find prosperity. I knew it was there, I just couldn’t access it. For two-and-a-half years—who are we kidding a decade or forever, I couldn’t find security and confidence. I knew it could be there, I just couldn’t access it.
After two years of digging myself into a quagmire and then six or seven months of climbing my way out, I discovered (remembered) the most valuable, most effective method of approach for life: let it go. Sit on your hands, drop the oars, button your lips, etc. Let it go and watch it turn to glitter.
When you’re so used to fighting and struggling to hang on for dear life, and so used to working and asserting just to be acknowledged as a worthwhile person, and so used to being deprived and struggling to make ends meet and to put out metaphorical fires, and so used to battling for cooperation and assistance, it’s hard to think of “letting go.” My gut reaction was, “If I let go, it will all fall apart.”
I was right.
Thank the Gods.
There was that one last thing. That thing that made me throw my hands in the air. That thing that forced me to let go for just a minute. I let go and actively decided not to grab hold again. I let go and let everything smash to the ground like the beautiful and terrifying timpani at the open of a symphony.
I let go and, indeed, it all fell apart. And with the shards of my life glinting fractures of light all around me, I could breathe. I didn’t have to hold it all together anymore. I didn’t have to keep track of all the parts. I didn’t have to worry about other people’s feelings that I cain’t fix, cain’t change, cain’t take personally, and cain’t let rule my world anyway. And, this time, in letting go I didn’t have to die. All I had to do was not step on the allegorical glass in my figuratively bare feet as I walked away.
So, yeah. Today didn’t have anything to do with Magic or Witchcraft or Sorcery or healing or food or family or community-building. But it had everything to do with all of those things in every way possible.
It’s good to see y’all again. We’ll touch base soon.
Quarks, Bacon Fat, and All the Love in the World,
P.S. If you want a sneak peek at where this is headed. It’s headed back to where we were oh, so long ago. Back to where we prolly lost track of a lot. Back to where we clearly had some lessons to (re)learn. Back to what feels like an entirely different person’s life. Back to where we hope to be headed from here on in because this feels so much easier and absolutely more fun and entirely more gratifying. Back to the future, as it were. Have a look at The Bad Witch and The Good Egg and you’ll remember, right alongside me, that we ordered divine bacon and room service is bringing us bacon in the morning and all we need to do is go open the door.
 Especially the Stephen King part. Watch 1922 before I blog again. It’ll be worth it. Plus Tom Jane.
 We all know it’s 42 anyway.
 And if you start singing Rodgers and Hammerstein, I’m leaving.
 Unlike the rest of my house, which smells like baked goods candles.
Unlike my kitchen which smells like cats and cast-iron cooking.
 Today was bangarang business, thanks for asking.
 I get comments often. Today was a particularly, “Gee you have lovely red hair,” day.
Senna conditioner, fellow gingers. Trust me.
 Don’t be deceived. I don’t teach *Shakespeare and Film* but *Shakespeare* and *Film.* I prepared for the former at the time of offer and was stunned to find that reality required the latter.
 I love my ancient house, but it’s too big and hard to regulate the temperature.
 I’ve always loved Great Danes—remind me to tell you about Duchess and Gertrude sometime—and Burmese Mountain Dogs.
 Well, there were other options but I died the year prior for about 4-5 minutes; nobody likes a one-trick pony.
 It was so shitty there for a while that I was leaning on a BOX of wine every 2-3 days just to cope. Now if I drink 2-3 glasses of wine, I’m hammered.
 Ego, if we’re honest. It was coming for a while, my heart knew even if it didn’t like it.
 God, Divine, The Source, The Universe, Nuit–pick a name, any name, It doesn’t care.
 And wave ‘em like I just don’t care.
 This was a realization I came to at Yule but wasn’t able to really incorporate until all the shit had finished hitting all the fans.
 And tip your waitress.