Don’t Make Eye Contact

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I remember growing up around my mom…she lived in a state of constant worry and a state of constant fear.  She moved away from it more as we grew older, but I remember when we were younger how afraid she was of everything.  She was afraid of thunder.  She was afraid of bugs.  She was afraid that we would wander too far from the house.  She was afraid.

The thing about people who live in fear is that many times that fear tries to transfer to the people that live with them.  The one phrase that I remember my mom using constantly was, “Don’t make eye contact.”  Now there were particular people or groups of people this was directed toward…strangers, in particular, but also those who others categorized as mentally challenged…homeless people and stray animals.AP_romanian_stray_dogs_jef_130913_16x9_992

 

My mom never felt comfortable around any of those things.  It makes me wonder what kind of life my mom had growing up….so much fear.  As you can imagine, many of my mom’s fears began to take root in my heart as I grew up surrounded by them.  I remember a group of mentally challenged teens who attended my elementary school….I would see them coming and I could feel my whole body go rigid.  I would silently pray that they would stay far from me.  I remember as a youngster walking toward a stray dog that came into our yard and hearing my mother screech from the front porch, “Don’t touch that dog! It might have the mange!”  Well, at that time, I didn’t know what ‘the mange’ was, but I was sure I didn’t want it.  So I ran. It was then that I started nurturing the beginnings of a fear of dogs.  Finally, I remember my mother talking about ‘Crazy Mary’ the local homeless woman.  My mother had heard stories of how Mary went crazy because she had always wanted children.  When she miscarried after her first and only pregnancy, it drove her to the depths of insanity and she walked the streets looking for a child to call her own.

I carried each of these fears with me through grade school, high school and even part of college.  When I passed the homeless…my mother’s voice would ring clear, “Don’t make eye contact.”  When I worked at a grocery chain and the adults from the local group home came in to shop, I made a bee-line for the stock room with my mother’s voice ringing in my ears, “Don’t make eye contact.”  When I met my friend Susan who worked with rescue animals and finally saw what ‘the mange’ looked like, my mother’s words haunted me, “Don’t make eye contact.”

I have never been the type of person who wanted to be limited by anything, most of all, myself…so I made it a point to put myself into situations where I had to address those fears.  The first fear I addressed was the fear of those that others called mentally challenged.  When I was in bible school in Knoxville, TN back in the days of Moses, I had to work to be able to afford school.  I worked full time evenings in a bookstore, but on weekends I worked at a facility for adults with learning, mental and physical challenges.

My first five minutes in that facility were pure hell for me.  I broke out in cold sweats and shook continually.  My biggest fear was that someone would actually talk to me.  My first duties were to help clean a fellow up after his meal.  He laughed and smiled at me the whole time.  It made me feel ashamed of the fear I had lived with for so many years.  I looked in his eyes and I saw joy…pure elation that someone was taking the time to help him.  He smiled even bigger.  I could feel a tear loose itself from my eye and I felt his hand wipe at my face.  He told me, “No cry….happy…happy.”  He laughed out loud and I joined him.

I turned around and there was a woman in her forties standing almost close enough to me to be my shadow.  “I love you!”  The worker with me told me quietly, “That’s her thing.  She loves everybody.  She will tell you 100 times in a few hours.” I smiled at her.  “I love you!” I was perplexed.  I leaned in and said, “I love you too.”  She looked me eye to eye and quietly whispered, “For real?”  I whispered back, “Yes, for real.”  She smiled from ear to ear.  That was the only time she asked me that night…but we made it a point to say it once a day each time we saw each other.

I often find it amazing…the places and situations I have found myself in.  This young fellow who was scared to death of getting ‘the mange’ moved to Atlanta and the only job he could find was a job at a veterinary clinic.  I learned all about mange and what would treat it.  I learned about animal handling and treatment.  I could do the job in my sleep. Five years into the job, the opportunity came for me to work with a mobile vet.  We went from house to house treating and working with pets and then one of her pets became gravely ill.  There was fluid on the heart and it would only get worse.  She was encouraged to bring him in and ‘put him to sleep’ when it was too much of a struggle for him.  Instead, she decided that it would need to happen at home surrounded by his loved ones.  She asked if I would do it for her.  I looked into that sweet dogs eyes as I introduced the needle into his vein.  I watched through tears as the spirit of life swept from him and I laid his head on his paws.

This morning I had volunteered to go with a work group to deliver clothing to the homeless.  Collections had been made for weeks and we stood in groups next to tables full of coats and sweatshirts and pants separated by size.2015-02-28 11.29.07

My first encounter with the homeless was in New York City in 1985.  I was being shown around the city by a roommate who had been living there six months longer than I had.  I was informed that you didn’t touch the pigeons and you didn’t make eye contact with the homeless. “They are like rats (the pigeons and the homeless).  You can’t be nice to them…they follow you everywhere.”

Years later, when I was working in the ministry, I  was asked to be a part of a homeless ministry who cooked breakfast and served it underneath the bridge in Charlotte, NC.  I got to know and became friends with many of the people who gathered under that bridge to eat and hear me sing and teach. As I talked to one fellow, I found out that he was my age and he had missed one paycheck.  Not so different from me after all….one paycheck.

This morning as I foraged through stacks on tables and shifted clothes.  I hear some of the others talking to people coming through the line.  I hear a familiar laugh and a scruffy bark.  I turn around and I make eye contact with the Green Wizard.  He is there in need of a sweatshirt and a blanket.  I smile at him and he smiles back.  I introduce him to those around me as my friend…not as ‘a homeless person I know.’eyes

 

It’s funny…over the years…the most powerful magick I have ever found were in the things of which my mother was most afraid.  I found magick in the eyes of those whose mind danced differently than my own…I found magick in the eyes of animals whose hearts were far purer than my own…I found magick in the eyes of those who use the earth as their pillow and the stars as their nightlight.  I am far richer for it.

Blessed Be!

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Spring’s Flame Begins to Smolder

Brigid

We are at the cusp of Imbolc.  The home fires have been stoked and the pantry filled.  The days are starting to get longer.  Here in the south, we are starting to see signs of daffodils, snowdrops, crocus and even hyacinth peeking eagerly through the dirt.  I have also noticed that particular change in the natures of the animals. The outdoor female cats around the complex are becoming more vocal and rubbing against anything they can find.

As the earth begins to awaken again, so does that part of us that calls us to the mating ritual.  Our bodies and our minds begin to feel alive again.  The heartbeat of the earth around us beats with the pulse of sexual energy.

This week has been a phenomenal week for me.  I have touched a part of my spirit that has lain dormant for quite a long time.  As I went to sleep Sunday night, my dreams drifted toward a school where I was taking classes.  An old pickup drove up through the field surrounding the school and I got in.  Inside the pickup was a friend…as my leg touched the seat, he reached out to touch my leg, then my arm…and then he leaned in and we passionately kissed.  Moments later, we were in an abandoned cabin where the touches and exploration continued…the heat of the moment rose more and more.  It was if there were flames and ice around us at the same time.  And then I woke up.2015-02-01 08.19.17

The heat and passion inside that dream stayed with me through the day.  I could barely concentrate on work at times, because I could feel the same sensations I was feeling in the dream happening to my body over and over.  I kept a cool damp cloth with me all day.

Don’t get me wrong….I love my partner very much.  He means the world to me, but I came to the realization this week that we work so hard to push that sexual, fiery part of our nature out of the way….it has to find a release. As I drifted off to sleep each night this week, new people would become a part of my dreams.  Each dream was just as intense and heat inducing as the first.  I started receiving messages from those I dreamed about. “Did you, by chance, dream about me last night?” “Yes, why?” “Was it a strongly sexual dream.” “Yes, why?” “Because it felt like you were here with me….I could feel your lips, your touch.”

I didn’t try to ‘conjure up’ any kind of sexual dream and I definitely didn’t go in with any person locked away in that part of my mind…but still it manifested.  I decided that it was, once again, time for me to sit down with myself and see what I needed to do to give this part of myself acknowledgement and an outlet.

Late last night after everyone went to bed, I slipped off to my sacred space. Now guys….as you read this…don’t gloss over it or tune it out.  Believe me, it applies.  I had lit red candles throughout the space.  Sandalwood, Dragon’s Breath and Bergamot incense filled the space.  As I entered, I removed all my clothes.  We have all become so self conscious of our bodies…I’m too fat, too skinny…I don’t measure up…I am too hairy, nothairy enough.  Women…how many times have you stood in judgement of your own body?  You threw out the good before you even had time to acknowledge it.

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I watched as the candlelight flickered against my body.  I felt the heat begin to surface.  I used my breathing as a substitute for the heartbeat of the earth mother….and I felt the emergence of the Horned God.  I began to visualize the strength of the Horned God manifesting inside me.  My breath quickened.  I could smell the musk of my own sexuality filling my nostrils.  I could feel my face flushing as I breathed and concentrated on the candlelight.  As I came down from this indescribable high, I extinguished the candles one at a time until the final candle in front of me was the only one lit. I used my fingers to extinguish the flame…the pinch of the fire only added to my experience.

I apparently fell asleep in my sacred space.  My roommate woke me up as he was heading out the door this morning.  What a visual that mush have been as he moved past the pillows and candles to find a large, hairy naked me sound asleep.

I got up and got dressed and went to the woods.  I went alone this morning. I needed time with me.  Friz must have understood because I could hear him snoring from inside the kennel.  As I settled down into the dirt, I took my shoes off so that I could feel her heartbeat a little stronger.  It was as if I could feel every breath….I could feel the life incubating inside her trying to burst forth early.  I could feel her heartbeat as she gave herself to the God in complete abandon.  As each pulse of her own flame met each thrust of his, her heartbeat quickened even more.  In these moments, I had not only become more intimate with the Horned God, but I had also experienced that same intimacy with the Goddess.match

I am a living breathing sexual being.  The spiritual part of that same nature is just as strong.  It is a brooding, pulsing part of my magick.  This afternoon, I lit some incense…the same as last night but with cinnamon added.  I lit red candles throughout the bedroom.  I brought out the massage oil and I slowly removed mine and his clothes…I always have said that magick is something that should be shared.

Blessed Be!