Tag Archives: music

Full Moon – Flower Moon Crests (Summer Solstice 2016)

Well, there’s a thing you don’t often see. A full moon on Summer Solstice. 🙂
Where I am, there’s – gotta hope – a thunder storm brewing. I’m half-way between hoping it hits in the next few minutes and hoping it hits once my lovely wife gets home from work. (I’m sure she’d appreciate the latter).
After a solid week of really chilly (like lows of 8C) weather, the heat has come back with lots of humidity. My zucchini, eggplants, and tomatoes are flowering like Woah, but I’m discovering that my wee new garden bed is badly in need of fertilizer – whether we’re talking Miracle Grow or the more naturally-occuring kind. Either way, most of my starts have kept their roots clining to the little cubes of soil they arrived in, andI’m worried that everything is goign to uproot before long. :-\
 
I’ve sprinkled some fruit-inducing bone meal around the new bed, and I’m wondering where I put last year’s tomato and pea stakes so that I can at least prop things up a little bit. :-\ May resort to unfolding some wire coat-hangers in the mean time.
 
We (finally) hung some of the ancestor photos today. My lovely wife has promised to bring home a drill so that we can do the rest without completely destroying the plaster (not drywall, plaster – it’s an old house) walls in the process. It’ll be nice to have them up again, though one of my foremothers has gone walkabout and I’m not sure where her picture has got to. :-\
We moved a new-to-us book case into the front room, and have unloaded most of the remaining Storage Locker Boxes (mostly books) onto its shelves. There’s still a lot of tidying, sorting, and re-arranging to happen in the front room, but we’re working on it again, which is really great. It feels good to be making progress, y’know?
 
My altars need more candles made for them. I’m going to have a dig around to see if I’ve got any already made (from years ago, when I sold them at craft fairs), so we’ll see how far I get on that front.
 
There was Orlando. And the week that followed it has just been weird and heavy. I have this blog post halfway written to put up on Syrens, and I’m not even sure that I’m going to do it. I may just send people here and here instead. I went to one of the vigils in town, because one friend was singing at it, and another was reading at it (the second piece I just linked to). I wore my leather and my shawl – in 30C heat, no less – because why else did I make it. And that was that.
 
In significantly less wretched news: I started singing lessons today.
This is a big deal, since (a) I haven’t taken a lesson – besides a one-off when I had a solo for a choir concert, a solid decade+ ago – since 2001, and (b) I learned how to run energy through singing. So unblocking a lot of my Energy Blocks – my teacher’s also a yoga instructor, so when I used “the chakras that show up on all the posters” to talk about how my body lights up when I’m singing well, she already knew what I was talking about + wasn’t (visibly) offended that a white chick was talking to her about chakras – particularly in the red and orange areas (I stopped singing within a couple of months of becoming sexually active and, while the two events aren’t related, it means that I’ve never been An Active Singer and someone with an active sex life at the same time BUT, when things are going well for me sexually, I start hitting high notes. As such, I’m aware that they’re connected, and so am wondering (in a fairly positive way) how getting my singing groove back will help in other departments. On a related note, I’m wondering (in a similar fashion) how doing more active singing practice will effect my awareness in ritual situations (whether we’re talking about Pagan stuff or S/M stuff for that matter).
 
~*~
 
MOTION: Took myself out to a couple of dances on Saturday night, during Glow Fair. Danced to spooky-spooky music at Retro Underground – I’d personally have been happier with a Smiths/Cure/Cruxshadows/BellaMorte kind of mix, but whatever they were playing when the doors open was good enough for what I was looking for. Then I bopped over to Oh My Jam (a reoccuring all-kinds-of-queers dance party) and called in my own tiny ocean to dance and splash in while other folks arrived and slowly filled the place up. Usually when I’m dancing, I call in Fire. But I tried for Water this time, and… it was (unsurprisingly, fish that I am) easier to keep my own energy from flagging while dancing on my own for the better part of an hour. That’s something I need to remind myself of all the time. When I do those grounding visualizations, I’m a willow, not an oak. My roots are very much in the water. When I call energy up into myself, I basically have to drink it – like capillary action. When I draw it down, it’s rain, or a shower/sprinkler system, or else it’s plunging into the blue so deep it starts edging towards the black. Mermaids R Us. Energy work involves tentacles, often as not. Scorpio with Cancer Rising (and Moon, for that matter). Pices in the dome of heaven. Water, water everywhere.
 
ATTENTION: Listening to a lot of Chai Chats – which is basically a CR group ft a bunch of kinky, poly femmes (afaik). Paying attention to my wife, trying to do more Quality Time (rather than shared-down-time) things with her, have more dates, that sort of thing. Digging into my Feeeeelings a little bit more and trying to sort out why sadness is such a habit with me (and it is – it’s totally the path of least resistance, if I’m thinking of myself as water. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be) but also trying to tease out the threads of it, so I can tell which bits of a given Sad Feels are born of what I’m thinking/moping about at a given moment, versus which ones are just glomming onto the focus-of-the-moment but are actually rooted elsewhere. It’s like when you have that reoccuring Fight AboutThe Laundry, or whatever, with one of your partners, and it’s never actually about the laundry, it’s about Feeling Taken For Granted or Wondering If You’re Special, or similar. Like, I’m essentially having Fights (well, cry-fests) with myself that are (on the surface) about my ex, but I suspect are really about something much less-specific than that, such as “Am I Loveable?” or “Will I Be Forgotten If I’m Not Constantly Pushing Myself Into People’s Faces?” (Oh, hey, Fear Of Abandonment), and I’d like to be able to “fight” about the actual thing, rather than just wallpapering a grief-focus over top of the actual thing and telling myself I’m crying about that.
 
GRATITUDE: Thankful for being able to use the neighbour’s hose to water the garden. Thankful that my lovely wife is sorting through her Stuff and that we’re making progress on the house again (we’ve been here for almost two years, so it’s kind of a thing). Relieved as fuck that the “suspicious person” in the ski mask at U of T last Monday turned out to be nothing, rather than a copy-cat jumping on the hate wagon. Grateful that my voice hasn’t disappeared on me after all these years of neglect. Grateful for dancing. For a bike that makes my back feel better, not worse. Grateful for hot nights and gusting breezes, for moonlight on the water, and the way my wife shivers when I kiss the back of her neck.
 
INSPIRATION: This Tweet + the Queer Body Love series that’s happening online right now (you probably need to sign up to get (free) access to the content).
 
CREATION: I’ve been feeling really uncreative lately. I was talking to my wife about it last night, over sangria by the local tiny lake, and she pointed out that I’ve been turning that energy inward, diving deep and seeing what I can dredge up to the surface. That said, I have Homework from my singing teacher which, along with running through Casta Diva and doing breath practice while in Supported Fish (Matsyasana), among other things, includes doing noodly improvisations using the sylables of my own name. So maybe I can get creative there.
 
“The sun sees your body, the moon sees your soul” (to quote said inspirational tweet).
Happy Solstice, kittens.
 
 
TTFN,
Melaid the Birch Maiden.

Advertisements

N is for Nest – Pagan Blog Project 2014

I want a house. I want a piece of land, ideally arable, ideally in (or at least very close to) the neighbourhood I live in now, with a (single-story) house on it that I can own, that I can’t be rent-hiked out of, that will keep my girl and me safely sheltered until we can’t live there anymore, maybe even right up until we die. Somewhere I can grow food. Somewhere I can put down roots without fearing that I’ll have to pull them up again.
And I wonder if I’m not seeing this mythical house – you know, the one where everything is (easy to) tidy and every thing has a place to go home to, where there are no roaches and no bedbugs and no clusters of plastic grocery bags either, where the carpet gets shampooed every February (for real) – if it’s not some kind of a pancea. (Pancea: The persistent idea that, if you can just get (or get rid of) X, you will have No Problems Ever).
Continue reading

Moving Right Along – Warming Up My Body (and My Voice!)

Okay. Last Summer, I did yoga. I signed up for a yin/yang (that’s “yin” – for joints & connective tissues – and “yang” – aka “hatha”, for muscles) yoga class at the studio down the street and learned how to do a bunch of poses, and then did them pretty-much every morning at my own house after a couple of weeks.
And then I went a got myself a temporary day-job and that meant that I basically dropped yoga like a hot potato.

And now here it is, barely a week away from March, with (Maple) Sugar Moon starting to grow (new moon was yesterday, iirc), and I’m basically going “Okay, self. Time to get back into the routine of things.”

Which means doing yoga again every morning chez moi – even if it’s only 20-30 minutes (though I’m aiming to work up to about 45/morning) – and doing vocal warm-ups at the same time.

This is a big deal for me.

I can feel myself expanding when I do it.
And, yeah, maybe part of that is because the weather’s been ridiculously warm the past week or so, which has had my body craving yoga (rather than craving curling up in a ball under a blanket with hot chocolate, for example) – specifically downward dog, for some reason. I don’t even like downward dog (so I dunno). Or maybe it’s because I spent last night having A Conversation with my sweetie about getting my sadistic groove back, which seriously helped me out – I’ve been feeling crunched up and squashed and coiled up inside myself (like I’ve been making myself small and unnoticeable or similar) and, when my Ghost asked me what I want to get out of S/M and what I enjoy about it, and basically a lot of “Use Your Words Luke Miz Syren” plus a chance to be all me-me-me[1] about a type of play that typically gets preached as being all about the bottom, not the top.
It was really good.
However.
I also think that I’m breathing more easily and and feeling more open because I let myself sing, let myself go through the decades-familiar work of arpeggios and scales and other simple warm-up exercises, filled my lungs all the way and didn’t worry about (a) bothering the neighbours[2] or (b) staying within what I currently feel are my “limits”[3].

I need to watch myself, because the frequent up-and-down of yoga often leaves me feeling a little light-headed. That combined with the deep-breathing, long breaths, and more-intense-than-I’m-used-to vocal activity, means that I need to be careful.

So, for now, I’m doing about 20 minutes of yoga + vocal warm-ups (mostly at the lower end of my range). As I get back into the swing of things, I’ll be able to yoga for longer periods, hold poses longer, and get myself into the upper end of my range without feeling like I’m damaging myself.
By the time Actual Wedding Season hits (June, maybe a little earlier, around here), I should be in Good Form (vocally and physically) and, with any luck, on track with practicing Actual Repertoire as well as doing daily warm-ups.
One can dream act, right? 🙂

TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

[1] Do not even get me started on how hard it is to actively and healthily be all me-me-me rather than doing it silently and full of resentment. I’m just saying. Seriously. Half of Syrens is all about that stuff.

[2] I spent three years – the last three years in-which I took singing lessons – getting harrassed by neighbours (who were everything from indifferently-clueless to actively, nastily hostile) about my singing. Because I practiced at home. Which apparently drove everyone in the building(s) nuts. I moved three times. That’ll do a number on a gal.

[3] I’m trying to be “gentle” with myself on this. There’s a gap between what I could do ten years ago and what I can do now and, while it’s not actually as wide as I originally feared it was (I still have my high b-flat! :-D) it is still a gap. I get tired quickly, because I haven’t done warm-ups like this in years (with the exception of when I learned a piece for my cousin’s wedding last summer), and I don’t want to push myself so far – which, really, isn’t all that far – that I end up having to take a day (or two, or three… you see what could happen there) off to recover.