Heavy Metal Collecting…

I have been intrigued with cast iron from the time that I was small and playing with a “retired” pot belly stove in the basement of my grandparent’s farm. In a week or so, I will be doing a class on cooking with, shopping for, and reconditioning well-used cast iron cookware. I found out online that collector’s of cast iron can be referred to as “Heavy Metal Collectors”… In preparation for the class I decided to track down a few extra skillets to clean up and have available. They can obviously be found at estate sales or thrift stores or antique establishments. It is hard to think of how many ended up in dumpsters because of a “perceived” lack of value. At one time, a cast iron collection was valuable enough to be passed on in hand written wills. Times change and, now, they are being rediscovered – as a healthy alternative for non-stick cookware, as a resilient piece of our history that works as well today as it did 150 years ago.2014-02-26 11.20.16

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Here are a couple of “before and after” pictures – and yes, you can cook eggs in them without sticking.

a reminder of “why we write”

A manifesto, by author Terry Tempest Williams in a book on ‘Creative Non-Fiction’

I write to make peace with the things I cannot control.
I write to create fabric in a world that often appears black and white.
I write to discover. I write to uncover. I write to meet my ghosts. I write to begin a dialogue.
I write to imagine things differently and in imagining things
differently perhaps the world will change.
I write to honor beauty. I write to correspond with my friends.
I write as a daily act of improvisation. I write because it creates my composure.
I write against power and for democracy.
I write myself out of my nightmares and into my dreams.
I write in a solitude born out of community.
I write to the questions that shatter my sleep. I write to the answers that make me complacent.
I write to remember. I write to forget. I write to the music that opens my heart. I write to quell the pain.
I write with the patience of melancholy in winter. I write because it allows me to confront that which I do not know.
I write as an act of faith. I write as an act of slowness.
I write to record what I love in the face of loss. I write because it makes me less fearful of death. I write as an exercise in pure joy.
I write as one who walks on the surface of a frozen river beginning to melt.
I write out of my anger and into my passion.
I write from the stillness of night anticipating — always anticipating.
I write to listen. I write out of silence. I write to soothe the voices shouting inside me, outside me, all around me.
I write because I believe in words.
I write because it is a dance with paradox.
I write because you can play on the page like a child left alone in
sand.
I write because it is the way I take long walks.
I write because I believe it can create a path in darkness.
I write with a knife, carving each word from the generosity of trees.
I write as ritual.
I write out of my inconsistencies. I write with the colors of memory.
I write as a witness to what I have seen. I write as witness to what I imagine.
I write by grace and grit.
I write for the love of ideas.
I write for the surprise of a sentence.
I write with the belief of alchemists.
I write knowing I will always fail. I write knowing words always fall short.
I write knowing I can be killed by own words, stabbed by syntax, crucified by understanding and misunderstanding.
I write past the embarassment of exposure.
I trust nothing especially myself and slide head first into the familiar abyss of doubt and humiliation and threaten to push the delete button on my way down, or madly erase each line, pick up the paper and rip it into shreds — and then I realise it doesn’t matter, words are always a gamble, words are splinters from cut glass.
I write because it is dangerous, a bloody risk, like love, to form the words, to say the words, to touch the source, to be touched, to reveal how vulnerable we are, how transient.
I write as though I am whispering in the ear of the one I love.

1 Billion Rising…

We are coming up on Valentine’s Day – a day of conundrums – who do we love and do they love us – but for women, it has been designated by the organization “One Billion Rising” to be the day that we dance and that men dance with us to end violence against women and girls – and truth be told, when violence is ended against women and girls, it is also ended against children, against boys, against men, against our lovely planet. And so One Billion Rising asks us to rise up, to dance, to tell our stories, to demand an end to the violence. – On their website they speak out…

ONE IN THREE WOMEN ON THE PLANET WILL BE RAPED OR BEATEN IN HER LIFETIME.

THAT IS ONE BILLION WOMEN.

IN 2013, ONE BILLION WOMEN AND MEN SHOOK THE EARTH THROUGH DANCE TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS.

THIS YEAR, ON 14 FEBRUARY 2014 WE ARE CALLING ON WOMEN AND MEN EVERYWHERE TO HARNESS THEIR POWER AND IMAGINATION TO RISE FOR JUSTICE.

IMAGINE, ONE BILLION WOMEN RELEASING THEIR STORIES, DANCING AND SPEAKING OUT AT THE PLACES WHERE THEY NEED JUSTICE, WHERE THEY NEED AN END TO VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS.

JOIN US!

And so on Friday, February 14th go to an event nearby or call your friends or sing out or dance for the end to the violence.

RISE. RELEASE. DANCE!

Spring is hiding behind arctic air…

This is always the time of year when we want to starting digging and we can’t! The ground is frozen – we are lucky if the car starts and the pipes don’t freeze. It is February 6th and the seed catalogs have been arriving for a month or longer! Just the reminder that we need that a. we want to plant and b. we can’t. And so we plan. Maybe this garden bed could be used for that – perhaps this drip system could be enhanced by some changes – will the apple trees bloom – will the bees survive – will this be the year that __________________ – fill in the blank.
So stop. Have a warm cup of tea. Write in your journal. Be grateful. Green shoots come up what conditions are right – we plant and harvest and dream and wait and we too manifest when conditions are right. Smile. Relax. Find a sunny window to sit in. Be a cat or a dog or a robin.

Embracing the Inner Crone…

While working with archetypes, it is easy to see that we all have an inner child, warrior, critic, wise woman, prophet, etc. The following was written by Marion Woodman and gives us, female or male, another powerful archetype – The Crone.

The Crone by Marion Woodman –
(The Crone can be thought of as the third stage in a woman’s life, after maiden and mother. She is detached, wise, spontaneous, surrendered, and often outrageous.)

While age does not necessarily create a crone, the “slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune” do have something to do with her maturing. She evolves out of the conscious Mother and the conscious Virgin. As we, men and women, respond to what life brings, the Crone very gradually presents herself. She can shock us when we hear what comes out of her mouth. She speaks her blunt truth and lets the chips fall where they may. Not that she is without feeling, certainly not without sensitivity. But she has seen enough to be able to separate the irrelevant from the essence. And she has neither the time nor energy to waste on superficialities.

Having passed through her crossroads, the divine intersecting the human, the Crone will have learned to accept the surrender of her ego desires and, having accepted her own destiny, she is free and fearless. She no longer has to justify her existence, nor fear the judgment of others. The deep acceptance of herself unites her with the Virgin – the Virgin forever transforming into the maturity of the Crone. The new sense of freedom brings with it a childlike energy – spontaneity, play, creative ideas. With her well-developed masculinity, she may put her ideas into action in the world, ideas that confront causality with what Jung called synchronicity. In a well-honed crone, we may feel the transparency of her body that is open to another reality. Being with her, we feel the presence of a timeless, spaceless world. We begin to see everything from two sides – the side that is totally in life and the side that is already dwelling in disembodied soul….

Because she has learned to love without any personal agenda, she makes an excellent guide. She knows how tough and how gentle we have to be to enter into this life and to leave it.

Wisdom or suffering is not the exclusive domain of the aged or impoverished. Our children have suffered, our teens, our mothers and fathers, our ancestors – whoever they are and wherever they came from. We must learn to listen to one another.

Cultivating Sacred Space

I have a lovely book – Cultivating Sacred Space – Gardening for the Soul by Elizabeth Murray
Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. writes about the book – “Cultivating Sacred Space is a beautiful exploration of the power and holiness of the life force. In this luminous and profound book, Elizabeth Murray invites us to discover the wisdom to trust and cultivate the life in ourselves by learning to listen to the life in everything. A book for all who garden, whether they grow plants or people or souls.”

Finding ways to create sacred space – whether within or outside – is a practice that brings healing, insight and understanding. It takes commitment and practice to recognize when we are disconnected from ourselves, our environment, and when we are immersed and embraced by it. With sacred intent, a seed planted takes root and manifests – it may be food for the soil, the insects, the squirrels or for us – with sacred intent, it surely becomes food for our souls. Respect and awe, a light bow of honor to that which creates, destructs, recreates – life.

Brigit’s Feast Day

Cross grouping – cross pollination. A group of women from various groups came to “The Garden Lab” to share, inspire, commiserate or celebrate! Our inspiration – the Goddess Bride, Bridget, Brigit, etc. Designated “A Holy Woman” she manifested the traits of hearth and home, poetry and keening, animal care and child rearing, compassion and strength and more.

Our world desperately needs balance – yin and yang – the feminine gifts and strengths must be brought back into balance for the sake of humanity and the blue and white planet we call home – the living system that everything depends on.

And so we came out on a snowy night to remind ourselves that spring will come, that life will have its way, and we talked and ate and offered our thoughts and poems. A community. A family.
Blessed be.

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