Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Interview with a Bored Goddess: Holda

It's staying light a little longer. Have you noticed? This morning when I set off for work, the sky was pearly and a few birds were chirping lustfully. All is well with the world.

But make no mistake. Winter is still well under way. Ask anyone in Washington State. They'll tell you. What better time to tender an invitation to Holda, bored (and misunderstood) Goddess of the Germanic peoples? Spread a few flax seeds, brew up some good lager, and She'll be only too glad to stop by. Please give a warm and wonderful "Gods Are Bored" welcome to Holda, the Winter Goddess!

Anne: All hail, great Snowy Goddess, vilified and persecuted by the Christians ... portrayed as a hateful hag, when really you are beautiful, nurturing, and helpful to humankind!

Holda: Yes, yes. That's me. Marginalized and misunderstood, like so many of my Sisters. Your cat has some mats in his fur. Shall I groom him?

Anne: What a kind offer! Please do. Oh, would you look at that! He never holds that still for me! Holda, I invited you here because I'm quite braced. I think you have a new praise and worship team!

Holda: Who, me? Couldn't be.

Anne: Want to see?

Holda: Yes sirree!

Anne: Aren't they beautiful? A gathering of women who are determined to nurture this nation!

Holda: They certainly have good taste in attire.

Anne: I thought of You the moment I saw them. There, I said, are acolytes of Holda, channeling Her snowy gowns and Her generous spirit.

Holda: How did they come to assemble in that place?

Anne: They came to listen to a despot who they plan to oppose. They chose the snowy white garments in honor of women's rights (and also to honor You).

Holda: I'm so touched! It gets tedious, you know, when the only white you see is on a bride.

Anne: I couldn't agree more ... but You have to admit it's a hard color to keep clean. These ladies aren't Goddesses. They have to be mindful of pesky stains. And yet they chose Your luminous shade. You should be proud.

Holda: I am! This is quite encouraging! What can I do to assist them?

Anne: All glory, laud, and honor to You for wanting to be helpful! Go, Holda, and sit among them. Be by their sides as they seek to restore balance to our troubled land.

Holda: You mean it? An assignment with dignity? I'll hop right on it!

Anne: No one is asking me, but what I think this modern nation needs is way more attention paid to ancient Goddesses. Go therefore, Holda. You're no ugly old hag trying to eat children! Show them how a Goddess does it. You're perfect for the job!

Holda: I accept. And in gratitude for the job, I'll send you a nice, bracing snowstorm.

Anne: With no sleet mixed in.

Holda: Hold the sleet, hold the freezing rain.

Anne: And ditch the wintry mix. We get that here all the time.

Holda: Snow it is for you, dear Anne. Deep, white, pure, and powerful.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Imbolc 2019

It's 4:45 p.m. and still bright daylight, so we are making progress. However, my heart is heavy today. One of my students who I had three years ago died after a long and painful battle with cancer. His funeral service was today.

To me, there is nothing so heart-wrenching as burying a child. Life is no cakewalk, but we still prefer that everyone get a chance to muddle through it, at least past the age of 25. My student was 17.

I had him as a freshman, before his illness began. He was "that kind" of freshman boy, full of energy, lots of friends, and very little (actually none) interest in English class. So he wound up sitting right in the front, right by my desk, for most of the year. (I tend to do this with "those kind" of boys.)

This student told me he hated to read. He'd never found a book he liked. Then I handed him a few of my carefully curated young adult urban lit novels, and he started reading. I can still see him turning the pages, lost to the world, right in front, next to me.

Today his friends looked shell-shocked, and his family looked worse. No amount of faith in God and Jesus makes this easy to bear ... I'm sorry, that's just the way it is.

This young man had a beautiful smile and was full of antics. I'll miss seeing him cross the stage for his diploma this spring.

I petitioned the Orishas to find him and acquaint him with the Ancients of his line. For good measure, as I was in a Baptist church in downtown Camden, I asked Jesus to please allow this to happen.

May his ancestors greet him. May he find his way to the Ancestors in the Old World, before they were sent to these hostile shores.