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Subject:Re-learning things sucks.
Time:01:08 pm
Current Mood:disappointeddisappointed
Buddist principles of stepping away from the universe, of letting it flow over you without causing ripples, has always tempted me.. especially with how Shaman are viewed in general.. I've always felt like modern society things it doesn't need Shaman anymore, that we're archaic, that we don't have anything to offer to Western Civilization. I don't think that's right, but that's a subject for a later post perhaps. A Shaman isn't supposed to not make waves. We're supposed to be very good at seeing how our existance impacts the universe; good at being responsible for those impacts; even sometimes choosing to change our waves to make impacts that better the world that we're connected to, instead of just going along with the flow.

I learned that difference a while ago.. and then didn't apply it. Most of the time, the results of the waves caused by my passivity have been negligable.. or small enough to just be an annoyance to my mate. Now my lack of responsability and my lack of choice has come very close to toppling the trust she has in me. For that, I am horribly disappointed in myself.

I can't allow the world to happen to me anymore. In some few ways I haven't been: I start a new job soon because I went out and tracked it down, performed the best I could and was offered a new place. If I can be active in my professional life, then I can learn how to be active in my personal life, too. 
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Subject:Country music taught me something important when I was young.
Time:04:48 pm
Current Mood:gratefulgrateful
I'll just leave this here: 

I remember well the day we wed
I can see that picture in my head
I still believe the words we said
Forever will ring true
Love is certain, love is kind
Love is yours and love is mine
But it isn't something that we find
It's something that we do
It's holding tight, lettin' go
It's flying high and laying low
Let your strongest feelings show
And your weakness, too
It's a little and a lot to ask
An endless and a welcome task
Love isn't something that we have
It's something that we do
We help to make each other all that we can be
Though we can find our strength and inspiration independently
The way we work together is what sets our love apart
So closely that you can't tell where I end and where you start
It gives me heart remembering how
We started with a simple vow
There's so much to look back on now
Still it feels brand-new
We're on a road that has no end
And each day we begin again
Love's not just something that we're in
It's something that we do
We help to make each other all that we can be
Though we can find our strength and inspiration independently
The way we work together is what sets our love apart
So closely that you can't tell where I end and where you start
Love is wide, love is long
Love is deep and love is strong
Love is why I love this song
And I hope you love it too
I remember well the day we wed
I can see that picture in my head
Love isn't just those words we said
It's something that we do
There's no request too big or small
We give ourselves, we give our all
Love isn't someplace that we fall
It's something that we do

Thanks Mr Black.
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Subject:What better way to learn something...
Time:10:52 am
Current Mood:peacefulpeaceful
.. than by telling a story to someone else? 

I'm still slowly re-reading one of my college books, trying to absorb the lessons. I read something Saturday morning that poked me in the head in the same way that some other books have, when a concept comes perfectly clear. The gist of the passage is that, in order to be healthy, a shaman has to use her skills. Reading that, I immediately thought of the feelings I had once in a while in Montana.. I would feel disconnected, low, almost despairing at times. At the time, I interpreted it as needing to be out in the wild.. that I'd been in the city for too long. Now, I wonder if those reactions weren't that kind of unhealthiness affecting a shaman not using her skills. I wasn't yet comfortable with interacting with people as a shaman.. I was self-conscious, more apt to stay off by myself.. few opportunities to use my skills presented themselves, and I think I ignored many of those. Going into the woods helped the symptoms, but they would return.. and the intensity of them drove me to take some risks that I should really have known better than to take. 

Talking to him this weekend, telling him about what being a shaman means, I brought that concept up and thought about another facet of it.. I think my choice to return to Montana and my mate instead of staying in Utah was something of a realization that I needed to use my skills and the better place for me to do that was among people. Since then, I don't remember feeling the symptoms of that 'sickness' more than once or twice, and not at all since leaving Nebraska. I've also been using those skills more here than anytime in my life except maybe while learning them in the first place. That was with the trees and mountains though, not with people. 

Being a mirror, a communicator, a catalyst isn't easy to do with people sometimes.. Just pointing something out rarely works.. I have to understand what's going on well enough to change it, rotate it a bit, tell a story about it so that it gets through to the person. A lot of people can't see some things about themselves, sometimes even when they acknowledge that the thing is there. Being able to do that is my skill. I didn't own that before, didn't want to dig into the depths of a person enough to help them in that way, afraid of what I'd see, what I'd allow into myself in the process. That's the price, though there are ways to counter some of that... risking something of myself in order to help someone else. 
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Subject:Epiphany at work...
Time:02:33 pm
Current Mood:hungryhungry
Strange how discussion of one thing leads to a realization about something completely different.. The more I learn about Buddhism, the more I realize that a lot of religions have some of the same concepts for things, but then take a different tack on how to relate to those concepts. As I understand it, both Shamanism and Buddhism recognize a fairly similar version of the "web of life" concept.. everything being interconnected and interdependent. I think the reason I could never actually BE a Buddhist rests in the different treatment of that web. A Shaman needs to realize this concept so that they can become part of it, realize that we're fundamentally nothing without it, and that our existence starts and ends in those interconnections and interdependence. I think for a Buddhist, learning this concept is necessary to allow them to step away from affecting these connections... not something I'm prepared to do. To stop affecting the connections around you is to stop living. Nothing else.

Giza now has one "Epiphany card". Thanks. ^_^
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Subject:I've been remiss..
Time:11:32 am
Current Mood:relievedrelieved
I've been horribly so.. so here's the update on shaman-y things.

I'm being called again.. for the first time in... since... <-.-> since Montana I think... definitely the first time since coming here. Two simple words.. "...then come". In response to so much.

Things before:

This all starts with Christmas really.. My mate got me a wolf ^_^ We'd talked a long time ago about the wolf I once wore, and why I didn't feel that I really wanted to anymore. I looked over the internets and found a few suitable possibilities and shared them with her a while ago.. Unasked and (mostly) by surprise, one showed up in my bag-o-thoughtfulness (stocking for the rest of you) this year. I've replaced the cheap chain it came with with a leather line and have worn it almost without break since. It's been the constant reminder that I've needed to continue talking to the trees (which has become a bit easier), to continue moving away from certain habits and back towards certain others..

My curling team went to Utica this year for the Elizabeth Child's Challenge, the women's 5-yrs-experience and under tourney. It's a measure of how well we fit together as a team that we did better in our first year than other teams that had been there from our club before. We made it to the finals and as we walked the boards behind the piper, something in the back of my head recognized the hollow wooden structure as something other than where you can stand and not worry about falling on your ass... as a drum. So I drummed. Had my ~1/4 shot of Drambuie, toasted the piper, made an offering to wolf.. and continued drumming. The entire game. Every time I was on the boards, I consciously made my steps a dance, a celebration.. and near the beginning of the game was the first time in way too long that I've felt wolf with me.. close enough to ask for teaching... and receive it. The mountains taught me long ago that Joy is a choice.. Focus is also a choice. When my envelopment in feeling and drumming nearly gave several points to the other team, I turned that same envelopment into some of the more intense concentration that I've ever felt.. and the stones responded. My second shot, and last of the game, cut their score to just one stone.. after that there was no doubt in my mind that we'd win. And we did... and then had a rather heart-and-mind wrenching discussion on the way home. We found out that we were all more like eachother than we'd even thought possible.. with some of the same emotional issues, owing the same debts to some of the same relationship-people.. but that's another story for a different place.

I've also begun going back through some books I read in college.. trying to relearn some lessons at the base of what it is to be shaman.. some things about word choice and thought patterns.. basically trying to re-align my internal point-of-view. I have more to seek in that area than I remember from before.. reading for a college class and reading for personal application have very different results. ^_^
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Subject:On Perception
Time:08:43 am
Current Mood:tiredwet
Yet another bit of wisdom from the trees.

I've said before that I don't believe it to be ethical to intrude on someone else's life uninvited. Even when invited, everything in that person's life should still be treated as valid, as something that I don't have the right to force to change. My understanding of that lesson is why I try very hard to not form judgments about people without thinking good and hard about what I know about them.. it's why I try to not put people into boxes in my mind and why I try not to use labels when talking about someone... It's rare that you'll hear me say something like "That person is mean" or at least I hope it's rare.

I've had that lesson stretched out a bit lately.. while I understood that it covered things like what people decide to wear or how they decide to behave, I hadn't attached it to their perceptions. I guess I treated perception as a sense, like hearing or touch, like it was something that's just there and works a certain way and that's it. Now I understand that another person's perception belongs to that person just like their clothes or words or choices... it's something that's covered under the "everything in the person's life" clause. Once I started seeing perception as an actual thing belonging to a person, I started wondering about some other lessons the mountains taught me... some of them make more sense now... how a person's actions should be the basis for my perceptions instead of what I think about that person's actions; how my perception of the world was just as important as my reactions to the world; how changing my perceptions helps me to see out of my world and into the worlds of others.

So I have a new fine line to learn the boundaries of... forcing someone's perceptions to change is as wrong as forcing someone's actions to change. Changing my actions solely in order to change someone's perceptions is the same... though that doesn't mean I can't change my actions. It's that the reasons should be different. If I'm going to change something I'm doing, it should be that I recognize that I should be doing something differently. If that happens to change another's perception of me, then that's a reaction to something I made right within myself and not due to my wanting to meddle with those perceptions.

Said another way: Good first impressions should be the result of who I actually am instead of who I want people to see me as.
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Subject:So there's this band... Part 2
Time:02:27 pm
Current Mood:happylight
Last night was definitely a good experience. They didn't have a french horn for me to use (and I'm still kicking myself for not bringing my mellophone with me) but they gave me music and a t-shirt and enjoyed my singing of my parts, especially when noone else had that particular line ^_^

There are a lot of things that seem to remain the same no matter what kind of band I'm in... the trumpets and saxes ribbed eachother and threw good-natured insults across the group; ALL of the trombones are named Chris; half of the clarinets wanted to be playing something else (usually a bass clarinet) and the percussion section was so late... how late were they? They were so late that none of them showed up. ^_^ But everyone really enjoyed themselves, including me and the other 3 new people, and I'll be back next week.

As an asside, I'm seriously considering using some of the spare foam I have lying around to make a soft-case for my mellophone... I really don't want to drag a 10 lb case around in order to carry around a 3 lb instrument... especially since I'm not nearly as likely to hurt it in transit as I was in high school :P
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Subject:So there's this band...
Time:10:10 am
Current Mood:excitedexcited
In the movie Armegeddon, there's a good quote that just about sums up my mood right now:

"Great, I got that "excited/scared" feeling. Like 98% excited, 2% scared. Or maybe it's more - It could be two - it could be 98% scared, 2% excited but that's what makes it so intense, it's so - confused. I can't really figure it out. " ~Oscar (the cowboy-stereotype char)

I think I'm a bit less confused and my current percentages are around 80/20, but the general idea is spot on. I was a band geek in high school. I hung out with band geeks and a smattering of other therians in high school. I was a band geek in college... when my forestry labs didn't happen to be in the same schedule block as marching practice: I was a forestry geek when they did conflict. While stuck in Omaha, I was slightly envious of a co-worker when he tried out for, and made, a place on the Omaha Community Orchestra. I think I would have been more envious if I didn't have an over-riding desire to spend as much of my non-work time as humanly possible with my mate. I also kicked around the idea of volunteering at some local high school band... but that didn't happen for the same reason. Now that the root of that desire (the unsavory nature of work) is gone, I'm finally finding that spending a bit of time doing other things isn't as untennable as it used to be... and then I bumped into this website: http://www.philadelphiafreedomband.com/ and spent a few weeks chewing over the idea of playing again.

Now, high school band was about as full of cliques and drama as possible without completely disrupting practice. Two prime examples: I was constantly having to console my second-chair horn about her myriad breakups. Constantly. During practice! I also entered a permanent state of schism with the clarinet section when their first-chair and I had a falling-out over 'band loyalty' when I was called to the principal's office to 'offer testimony' when two freshman trumpets were caught throwing gravel at a few (non-band) people I usually ate lunch with. College band had considerably less clique/drama issues. In fact, we may have had too few clique/drama issues. The entire band was so casual/relaxed that none of us really made any effort to connect... at least not outside of the usual rampant hooking-up during the first few months :P

Now I have a chance to be in a band where everyone not only cares about playing (because they're there) but where there's already a built-in social commonality. Add to that the fact that I'll essentially be sight-reading all night (which I was never terribly good at) and that I haven't played in 5 yrs and a french horn mouthpiece is one of the more painful to get re-used to, you can understand my 80/20 feelings. ^_^

But I have this nagging feeling that I'm going to enjoy myself immensely, starting with the moment I hold a horn again.
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Subject:once again....
Time:10:31 am
Current Mood:sadempty
... i'm not pregnant. 

every time this happens, i feel worse about it... we manage to have sex when my body thinks it's fertile, i miss a period, wait a few weeks for good measure... then nothing...
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Subject:something new in dreams
Time:08:42 am
Current Mood:contemplativecontemplative
I've never had other people shift in my dreams before... There was a blond lion and some kind of bird. We had to get across a continent and took our own paths to get back to a small town by a river... reunion and shifting together is another something new, too.
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[icon] Kiric
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