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Arden Raine is an ex-theatrical making sense of life through many lenses.

Monday, May 27, 2013

So Amazed

Lyrics keep thrumming through my bones today.

"7 o'clock in the morning, here it comes
I heed the warning and I am so amazed
I'm here today seeing things so clear this way..."

That's how I feel right now, disconnected and awash in warnings.

A lot of death lately. A man from college died last night. He was no friend of mine but he was beloved by those I love so I morn their losses.

"The air inside just hangs with delusions..."

I am weighed down right now with shades. Shades of what ifs and one more moment pleases.
Spectres of self doubt and trust. Blown away from my heart and head by coldness of breath and finality of death.

"But given time I'll be fine..."

I know this shall pass. But for now I am choosing to live in this body; Feel these emotions; Hold every thought and feeling up to the light and dissect it and myself in the process.

But I cannot allow myself to solely live in my head. It's time to mourn and accept what is gone to feel and accept the healing emotion brings.

And listen to some CSN.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dream A Little Dream

I should have known.

Last Thursday I dreamed of a friend. He is a mentor and favourite human. We chatted about our kids. We laughed about how old we were these days. He told me he adored me and then he said something he told me daily when we worked together ten years ago: find what you love, hold tight and enjoy the ride.

I didn't think too much about the dream. I had been perusing his Facebook page before bed. So it made sense to dream of him.

Oh but I should've known better.

You see I have a gift. I dream of the dead. When ever someone I love passes on they visit my dreams. Sometimes it's people I really don't love or even like but yet they come.

I've been this way my whole life. It is a comfort and it's not.

Last week I walked about on edge all day. Like something is missing or the stove was left on. That feeling has followed me for a week.

I thought yesterday it was because I almost forgot to vote. I thought Monday it was because I forgot to buy toilet paper at the store. This weekend I thought it was about open ended plans needing finalized. Friday I thought it was my OCD getting tweaked by my mad neighbor.

Sadly the feeling of unease and restlessness ended abruptly this morning.

I saw on another friends Facebook page that our mutual friend was gone.

And unlike so many who loved him I was given a moment to say goodbye. I was able to tell him I loved him. And unlike so many I know there is a place we travel after death.

How could I not when I have years worth of journals filled with my dreaming. Silent witnesses to final farewells.

So God Speed kind man. Thank you for the dream.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Flame in Me

Little pot, found at random.

Tucked beneath the flotsam of retail's faded lilies.

You've become so much more than mere candelabra.

You are now my Anchor to the gateway of the Gods.

Simple clay vessel born of fire and fitted in steel you hold the center of my hearth.

Shine bright little secondhand store treasure.

And keep the embers of my passions safe.

Personal Persephone

Deeply hidden in velvety folds,
Light and water create illusion.

Down the rabbit hole to the place of Ancestors.

Sacred tunnel let me drift to your bottom.

There lies the River Man and Grey Gates, And home of Fear primordial.

Let me but hear your water's voice so I'll quake not.

Let me see the truths buried.

Let me rise from your fathoms with a hard won kernel of completeness.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Time for Growth

This year we went big. We decided to do serious gardening.

For the first time in my life (Well other than that pregnancy thing...) I grew something from seed to plant and now my babies are beginning to flower.

In some cases, the leaf products, we will be harvesting this weekend our first labors.

I am feeling this incredible pull to be out in the dirt. To care take these little lives. To nurture and protect and enjoy that process.

I am frustrated with obstacles that keep me from these labors.

Lack of weed whacker line, thunderstorms, lack of sleep, lack of dirt all seem like demons slashing at my soul.

Diabolical imps tormenting me, laughing as I sit by the window and watch the rain fall. Or worry as mid-May freeze threatens leaf and stem and flower.

But this eagerness is such a new feeling. Usually my gusto for gardening wanes from June to September as the dread fear of wasp bite and subsequent lack of breathing drains my happiness and draws me deeper into the cave like safety of the living room.

I play outside with the kidlet daily. We play in the park and on the porch. But the joy of communion with my land has been so muted these last six years it seems like a memory of a dream.

So forgive my new parent enthusiasm for spinach and tomato blossoms.

Ignore my gushing over containment methods.

Laugh behind your hands as I sing to the Fae folk my happiness and desire for their blessings.

Be gentle with my robustness in speech when waxing poetic over canning methods.

I am growing into this new role as earth mother. I am just being to sprout in my ability to understand the wants and needs of my Genus Loci.

Though new to the growing of plants from storage cell to full leaf, my twenty plus years of herbal lore and actual planting of others seedlings gives me courage.

And the most wonderful things of all is to share this learning with my own body creation.

Nurturing the love of the natural world in the kidlet is humbling and beyond rewarding.

So Mary, Mary Quite Contrary, what are you growing today?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pirate piggy's battle

The Magic has been inside you all along

Reflecting upon life today.

I seem today to have regained a small portion of my joy.

Joy of the curious, joy of the magical, joy of the mundane seen without filters, I was given a sample of this today.

Just playing with the kidlet.

I allowed myself to get out of my head and be in the moment.

And look what captured my fancy! Light, water and whimsy. My favorite combination of elements. All brought to being by the wee one's desire to play in the tub.

Thank you kidlet. For letting me play too. And for being patient as I captured light and emotion in pixels and prose.

Excuse me but I have a piggy pirate island to infiltrate and mermaids to rescue.

So good bye for now.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Obligatory Mother's Day Post

So here's the thing, I have always hated mother's day.

As I have previously written my relationship with my mother is non existent. 

I always feel down on Mother's Day. Though the person who gave birth to me and I have no bond anymore there is a longing for mothering.

I have the single best Mother in Law on the planet. I love her like my mom. Really this lady is awesome. Both of my In Laws are great. But she's my mate's mom not my own.

But inside I still yearn for my mom. I yearn for her to be like other mom's a little broken but loving. I wish that the trauma of her life had made her strong enough to protect herself.

But sadly those are dreams.

I lost my mom's. My real mom as a child as inner demons devoured our chances of normal life.

My dear, sweet, big, black, queen from Kentucky Momma Té was taken due to illness leaving a void in my soul. He taught me to not be afraid of being touched. Damage my real mother allowed to be created.

And this is the first year my paternal Grandmother isn't here to call as the sadness builds upon my mind as the Hallmark holiday looms closer.

And I get maudlin folks. I can't count the number of years where deep depression and PTSD weren't present.

The year I was pregnant and the the following year were my happiest. The pain of being motherless was dull and background noise.

The year I became pagan I was filled with a sense of love. The Mother Goddess eased the ache inside. But I had my Gram there to listen to my ramblings. (Much like you are now!)

And this year I expected more of the same. Pronounced pain over my dearly missed Gram. She was a constant for me. She raised and protected me but in all honesty in some ways she broke me as much as my real mom.

But I was saved by chance.

My cousin sent me a gift. And I saw for the first time the face of mother's mom this week.

My Grandmother died before I was born and the cruel loss of her beloved mother is what made it impossible for my mom to ever fully heal.

But here not only was my Grandmother but my maternal line. My mom all the way through to the woman who gifted me tribal blood.

And for the first time in my life I am not a motherless lump. Before this week I had no real information of where I came from. 

But now I can actually see the faces of those who came before me. I have names and I can see the strength and power they had. I also know why my boobs are saggy and my arms are the size of tree trunks.

I can see the origins of my chin cleft and the mother who created 'the look' that has chastised and frightened wayward children for over a hundred years.

These women have called to me for so long in my dreams, in my faith, in my darkest times they soothed and calmed me from beyond reach. They called and I followed and now finally I can see them. I have names and faces to see in my mind as I call out praises and give offerings not to my Grandmothers but to Vera and Nora and Mary Alice and Rebecca and Susan.

I can anchor myself into a world where I no longer am adrift. A motherless soul trying to mother an absolutely glorious soul I am no longer.

I shared the pictures with my kidlet. And spoke of where we came from. I got to tie us down. Chains of love. They weigh nothing but yet fill the hole on my heart.

And though I am not looking towards Sunday with joy I think I can approach the day with calm.

I have a line of beautiful strong women behind me. And even if the bond that ties me to my own mother frayed loose a long time ago. I can weather the storm I have a good anchor now to keep me safe harboured.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Close your eyes...

Count to ten and then,
Gently blowing send a cloud
Of wishes skyward.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

A big Thank you to The Militant Baker

I was given a gift yesterday. A good friend shared a post on Facebook leading me to an amazing woman.

I was lead to the blog of The Militant Baker. This lovely lady blew my mind.

Her post from March rocked me to my core.

Read it here: http://www.themilitantbaker.com/2013/03/things-no-one-will-tell-fat-girls-so-i.html?m=1

Now dearies I am a big woman. I have struggled with lots of variables that have created this form. Starvation, under active thyroid, poly cystic ovaries, depression, poor eating and exercise habits, under eating, dieting and I could go on.

My body image is so skewed that when I was 125 of solid muscle and a tiny size 4, I thought I was a monster.
I regularly see myself as hideous. I have always avoided mirrors and photographs. Who wants to be reminded they are ugly right?

But it's not true. I see old photos shared by college friends on Facebook and frequently I am so shocked to see a lovely woman that it takes a second look to realize it's me.

I read Jes' blog and saw a gorgeous woman. I agreed with her 10 things. Yet I immediately thought wow I would never look that good again. I am too big/old/scarred.

Then the comments hit me. You see we are the same size. I see her as beautiful but myself as repulsive.

I never have seen myself as beautiful not in high school, college, my wedding day, not pregnant. But thankfully I was given one brief moment of true sight.

After my kidlet was born, like 9 hours after birth, I caught my reflection in the bathroom mirror. It was that shock of un-recognition. There was this radiantly beautiful creature looking back at me and holy fuck it IS me!

But all too soon the wacky wiring in my head twisted my perceptions once again.

I once was told I look like Kim Kardshian. After I looked up who the hell she was I was all: 'dude nice to taunt the fat chick-you asshole' and dismissed him.

I ALWAYS dismiss compliments. I NEVER believe anyone (husband included) that I am attractive. I am not phishing for more compliments with my denials. I just can't accept the idea that anyone might really find me attractive.

I am NOT coy.

I did at one time laud my big chest because I 'just knew' that's all I had going for me.

How sad is that? I sure as hell do not want to pass along my fun house, seriously broken-brained, body image to my kidlet.

I work to be healthier. I lost 50lbs last year. Yep I was knocking on 300lbs. And I was super proud. I cut my Type 2 risk by 10%. But the loose skin and the not losing a clothes size as what fits looks like full body camel toe due to the landslide of flesh just devastated me. How freaking cruel. I lose an ass ton of weight but look awful. I am stuck in clothes now sizes too big. I now swim in textile where once I was encased in fat. I gave into the fun house and declared who cares you're old and fat and ugly and been with your man 20 years.

But IT'S A LIE. At now 264 I am just as strong as I was chucking over a ton of boxes, several times a day, 6 days a week. I am man strong. I can lift and move marble and mahogany sinks without assistance. I did that. I can embrace my strength, I can revel my quick mind, but accepting that my body is beautiful is harder than childbirth.

It has taken a young baker/blogger/model/mental health professional to open the door of the fun house and awaken in me a drive to shatter all my false images of myself.

Thank you. Thank you for clubbing into my noggin: truth.

Thank you  Jes for dragging me away from my narcissistic love affair with twistedness and illusion.

Now which of my glorious friends will take me shopping? I need an honest, brutal, loving hand. I want someone who will assist me to see in the mirror correctly and help me reclaim my Goddesshood! Any of my drag queen friends free? You know more about femininity and what not to wear and fierceness that all the Joan Rivers of this world combined.

I must retrain my brain. And I will learn to see what so many of my loved ones see: the actual me.

And I am so not a number on a scale!