Songbird

The world is different when you’re deaf.

Now, I don’t usually use earbuds, but this morning my soul seemed to have taken a masochistic streak onboard and I found myself trying to clean my problematic ears with the cotton-tipped devils.

know you’re not supposed to stick anything smaller than your elbow into your ear. I know that, OK? But there I was, twiddling the little plastic stems into ears which have the greatest difficulty staying unblocked as it is, never mind the outside interference.

Up until that point, I had one ear which has been working fairly well over the past 6 months, while the other generates a white-noise-like hum at all times and has difficulty in catching sound waves. But I could get along.

Now, however, I find myself cocooned in a roaring silence through both ears. I’m not at all comfortable with this – in fact, I’m more than a little irritated and so am constantly on the edge of being irritating to others.

I have to keep telling them, for instance, that today I’m deaf as a post. Not distracted, not just a little hard-of-hearing, but actually unable to divine anyone’s meaning unless I’m either looking at them and reading their lips, or they talk very slowly and loudly, as you would do to an imbecile.

On the other hand, of course, there are so many things in this world that I’m probably better off not hearing. The local and international news. The godsdamned gunfire-soaked shows which pass for American Entertainment. My partner muttering in a tourette’s-syndrome like manner under his breath. The neighbourhood dogs barking and howling to be let in out of the cold.The taxis and mal-tuned engines along West Street. The outer office inhabitants having a meeting. The endless, inane, low-intelligence drivel which passes for social conversation. Adverts-any and all adverts.

Muting or cutting these out should be an unalloyed blessing. but I’m still irritated. I guess I would like the chance to, hearing, complain about them.

And yet it’s not a total descent into madness. Walking out onto the deck – the traffic muted, the chatter of other people almost entirely absent – I hear one clear, liquid string of notes coming from the trees. I cannot see the songbird, but he has let me know that I’ve not been abandoned, after all.

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Anything Other Than Holy

I haven’t celebrated Samhain with all the trappings for years now.

The carved pumpkin heads, black and gold candles, myrrh-heavy incense, robes and a cast circle haven’t been seen around my place for a good long time.

That doesn’t mean that I’ve forgotten to mark the first day of Winter. Rather, the marking has become almost entirely internal rather than demonstrative for me, and I’m happy with that.

I might be fortunate to be someone with enough intelligence and training to be able to work out for myself when the mid-point between Solstice and Equinox falls, four times a year and hence have less need to display my acknowledgement of the Sun’s apparent position in the sky.

Or I might be a person who hasn’t much need for the validation of others when marking time.

Or I might be a person whose interior life is just growing richer as I go on whirling on a rock around a big ball of hydrogen fissioning into helium.

Whatever the reason, my withdrawal from external displays of Sabbat hasn’t stopped my ancestors gathering around me when the time draws near, or me dreaming of them every night, conversing with generations I have never known while alive,  or inviting them to accompany me throughout my day.

For perhaps that’s the point – no day is mundane any longer, and no experience anything other than holy.

Power of Opinion

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Saturday morning, and, having decided to cut my weekly washing into 4 loads rather than 2, I’m awaiting the machine wash-cycle’s pleasure and watching the news on the BBC.

(I watch the Beeb because, frankly, I prefer their use of language – rather than the parochial butcherings of the US or South African news services.)

A segment on Honduran immigrants to the US comes on.

The Trump ‘regime’ (it’s really a shit-show lead by an incompetent con artist, but ‘regime’ will do) has decided to end the protection given up to now to refugees from Honduras.

An elderly Honduran woman is among those interviewed. Speaking in Spanish, she opines that, while ‘gringos’ are undoubtedly intelligent, they sure aren’t hard-working like Hondurans.

Now, that is a blanket statement of racial bias if ever I heard one. But she is elderly, non-White…and a woman. These 3 characteristics give her a status slightly above a dormouse in the social hierarchy. If she had been, say, a middle-aged White bloke, her statement amounting to “Whites are lazy” would have been roundly condemned, and probably not been allowed to be aired at all.But there she ws, on international television, blithely calling Whites lazy and no-one batting an eyelid.

What this underlined most strongly for me was that your position on the social ladder determines the power of your opinion. Someone (that middle-aged White bloke for example) has the power to,presumably, hire and fire people, and his opinion carries a much greater weight of authority than that of the elderly Latina woman. So she gets away with it, whereas he, these days, wouldn’t.

And that’s OK. With great privilege comes great responsibility, both for our selves and for others, so the higher your social standing, the more powerful your every opinion truly becomes.

But for this morning, I just had a laugh-out-loud moment.

Spider Dreams

Can we take a single step which we have not mapped out for ourselves?

Is this Creation entire, without the possibility of stepping outside of its bounds?

Are we simultaneously dreaming and being?

For if we are both the dreamer and the dream, no misstep is possible – it’s not even possible to formulate that possibility.

Creator and Creation entire, whole, flawless and without boundary.

Earth, Water, Air, Fire – Today’s Musical Earworms

Covering the compass today with the songs which are stuck in my head.

For Air and Earth:

Dust In The Wind by Todd Rundgren (1972)

For Fire and Water:

Fire and Rain by James Taylor (1970)

..although the Tim Hardin version is good, too.

These are two very similar songs, written less than 2 years apart. I was faintly surprised that the Rundgren song was later, as the Runt was often a groundbreaker in styles, sentiment and sound engineering.

But you can segue from one song to the other in your head with hardly a pause.