March Monday Potpourri


* Saturday was a lovely, warm, sunny day. I was working on a brief, but kept getting up to wander out into my garden and check on the emerging toad lilies, voodoo lilies, day lilies, iris, daffodils, and crocus (OK and weeds. Plenty of weeds). Sunday was G/Son’s birthday — not quite as warm, but windy and sunny — and we had a family brunch. G/Son chose the Limrick Pub, one of our few Pagan-run businesses. Heh. (OK, he likes their sliders.) At one point in the usual ongoing family debate, he said, “Well, Nonna does make a good point.” I love that kid. Today, it was snowing hard one minute, sunny and clear the next. I’ve been outside to cover up the toad and voodoo lilies to protect from tonight’s temps in the 20s; everyone else will have to fend for themselves. Welcome to March in my landbase.

* Anne Hill has pulled together a number of her best pieces on Reclaiming and put them into the aptly-named The Baby and the Bathwater: What I learned about spirituality, magic, community, ecstasy and power from 25 years in Reclaiming. She’s made it available as a free downloadable PDF. It’s a fascinating account of Anne’s musings on what led her to move beyond Reclaiming. I read it at the same time that I’ve been reading bits and pieces of Starhawk’s latest book: The Empowerment Manual: A Guide for Collaborative Groups. Both women have something important to say (hint: Starhawk is still in favor of consensus decision-making while Hill is less enthusiastic) about how we go forward. Hill’s book is an important contribution to the history of a genuinely American religious movement. (Full disclosure: Hill sent me a copy of her ebook to review.)

*Speaking of books, this year is the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Wrinkle in Time. I loved that book when I first read it in fifth grade, and it’s still one of my favorites. I can honestly say that I’ve never read anything by L’Engle that I didn’t like, but Wrinkle was special. Did you read it? I’ve got zero studies on this, but I’d be willing to bet that Wicca is composed of a larger-than-normal cohort of girls who grew up reading SciFi. And L’Engle was my introduction to what became and still is my favorite genre of fiction. NPR notes the anniversary, and says:

The publishers who rejected the book insisted that children would be put off by the book’s complicated, elliptical plot and concepts, but for author Rebecca Stead, the ambiguous aspects are what make the story so compelling.

***

“A Wrinkle in Time also asks these huge questions, really, about the universe, and good and evil, and the power of love, and all of this crazy science and complex ideas. It assumes that kids are able to think about all that stuff. I think that a lot of people forget that, or never realize it, but a children’s book is really the best place to ask big questions. Our worlds get smaller as we get older,” Stead says.

Voiklis agrees that the publishers erred in assuming children weren’t interested in stories that were so complex — semantically, morally and narratively.

“Even if a young reader doesn’t know all of the words, or know who all of the quotations are from, or if they can’t grasp exactly what a tesseract is … it sort of gives room for the reader and shows possibility and a place where you want to go and understand,” Voiklis says. “[L’Engle] didn’t think condescending to children was the right thing to do.”

And 50 years after it was published, L’Engle’s unapologetically erudite novel continues to challenge and captivate — and Calvin O’Keefe, Meg Murry and her younger brother Charles Wallace take another generation on their unforgettable cosmic journey.

I’m really looking forward to reading it to G/Son.

*Speaking of reading to G/Son (who’s reading quite a lot of things himself, these days: where does the time go?): For his birthday I got him the two books of myths that shaped my own childhood: d’Aulaire’s Greek Myths and d’Aulaire’s Norse Myths. He was instantly as fascinated by those beloved illustrations as I was. Looking forward to reading those to him, as well.

*Leonard Cohen’s got a new album out and, somehow, he just keeps getting better.

*Speaking of people & things that just keep getting better, the older I get, the more I love Charles Baudelaire:

The Fountain
My dear, your eyes are weary;
Rest them a little while.
Assume the languid posture
Of pleasure mixed with guile.
Outside the talkative fountain
Continues night and day
Repeating my warm passion
In whatever it has to say.

The sheer luminous gown
The fountain wears
Where Phoebe’s very own
Color appears
Falls like a summer rain
Or shawl of tears.

Thus your soul ignited
By pleasure’s lusts and needs
Sprays into heaven’s reaches
And dreams of fiery deeds.
Then it brims over, dying,
And languorous, apart,
Drains down some slope and enters
The dark well of my heart.

The sheer luminous gown
The fountain wears
Where Phoebe’s very own
Color appears
Falls like a summer rain
Or shawl of tears.

O you, whom night enhances,
How sweet here at your breasts
To hear the eternal sadness
Of water that never rests.
O moon, o singing fountain,
O leaf-thronged night above,
You are the faultless mirrors
Of my sweet, bitter love.

The sheer luminous gown
The fountain wears
Where Phoebe’s very own
Color appears
Falls like a summer rain
Or shawl of tears.

********

Update: Oh, and I just got and skimmed the 2012 Omega catalogue. Explain to me again why Starhawk, Ivo Dominguez, John Michael Greer, Christopher Penzack, T. Thorn Coyle, etc. aren’t doing week-long classes here?
Picture found here.

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4 responses to “March Monday Potpourri

  1. Thanks, Hecate. I LOVED Wrinkle in Time as a boy. Read it twice and had my friends read it. And as an adult I read her other books. The grandeur and tenderness of her vision blew me away. I still think about the connection she posited between mitochondria and stars… And I loved being treated as a thinking human being by the author.

  2. I managed to download A Wrinkle In Time on my Galaxy SII. Read it again cover-to-cover, so to speak, over the next week’s worth of highway-on-the-way-home.
    (Err..no, I wasn’t driving!)
    It ranks as one of the most important books I have ever read – first at the age of, what? eight or so?

    Love,
    Terri in Joburg

  3. Thanks so much for the shout-out about my book, Hecate! A minor correction: I am actually selling the book as pdf on my website, and the correct link is here:
    http://serpentinemusic.com/ebooks/the-baby-and-the-bathwater/
    (I still have some glitches in the website delivery system.)
    I would love to hear people’s comments on the book regardless of whether they paid for it or downloaded it for free, and the link above leads right to the comments section. Thanks again!

  4. Just gave a young homeless girl a Wrinkle in Time to Read. She was waiting with her mother, who I was helping. I keep a supply of books for kids who are usually bored out of their minds. I ask them if they like to read, and if they do, let them pick out something. She picked it up, and immediately seemed engrossed. It felt good.

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