Archive for the ‘fear’ Category

What Witches Know

June 6, 2009

Photo and Story © 2009 http://www.psychscribe.com

 

wintertresmm

 

 

WHAT WITCHES KNOW 

by

Psychscribe

 

     My grandmother, just before they burned her, said this to my mother: the only difference between them and us is they don’t know they have it.  She gestured with her chin at  the bonneted, jostling women, who far out numbered the men in the seething crowd around the stake. Her own unbound hair snapped in the wind as they lit her.

     Afterwards my mother fled to this secret, wooded place that welcomes our kind.  The curse they call a power spills like gentle sunlight upon the bears  and other wild things that feed from our hands. The beasts of the forest are kin to us.

     I had no father.  She grew me, all on her own she liked to say. I never asked her for the truth.  I knew he’d met the same terrible fate as all the others, the ones who came after. 

     We never knew how they found her here.  They would just appear between the trees, squinting and searching, as if sucked from the great open spaces by a hungry wind.  Raking her fingers through that thick, viney hair, she would sigh so deeply you could feel the cottage tremble.  I trembled too.  For them and for her.  Go away, she would whisper.  Not again, I would pray. 

     The gods did not answer. The men did not hear.

     She tried to warn them.  I’ll hurt you, she’d cry.  Leave while you can.  They never believed her.  Princes and farmers, hunters and noblemen, even the friar thought he could save her.  They never said from what.

     Save yourself! she would shriek.  They only chased her more.

     She looked safe enough. Layers of violet gauze robes hung from a tall, fragile frame, concealing tiny breasts and skin so pale it seemed as if she might vanish at any moment.  They must have thought they were chasing a fairy.  How could they know what she was?

     What they hunted, hell-bent, was their own annihilation.   They would forget to eat and drink, or wash, or even sleep, and laugh in delight when she called it to their attention.  See what you do to me, crooned the hunter to his prey.   See what you do. 

     And each would whisper his dream of wholeness and nothingness, the dream we’ve been hearing since time began, the one that sends them from their churches and wives’ beds and into our damnation.

     Did she love them?  Almost, always almost, she once said.  But as soon as I can smell the fear in them the feeling is replaced by something else, something I can’t name. 

     Sooner or later she would grow tired from the hunt.  How long can you run from water when your throat is parched?  But she never succumbed, not at once anyway.  Breathless and laughing, she would toss the suitor her robes and the promise of tomorrow, disappearing into the cottage and bolting the door.

     Witch! they would shout at her naked, fleeing form, angry yet smiling in a way I did not understand.  Burn her! Burn her! the wives left behind cried out in their dreams. 

     In the morning, still naked, she would unbolt the door and open it wide, her dark hair coiling and writhing, lifting toward the sun.  I could feel her heat from where I lay in my small bed.  She would not close her eyes when she made what they called love . They liked that at first ( ah… spirit! ) arched triumphantly over her like bows and staring into the depths of what they fancied to be their souls.  They always got to the point, of course, where they needed to close their eyes on what they saw. But by then it was too late.

 

     We keep a little piece of them.  Not because we are evil but because it is our nature.  What we take are their shadows, their dark, howling secrets.  If you’ve ever seen a squirrel skinned alive then you know what it is like.   

     They live through it.  They go home to their wives, their hearths and their children.  But a man without his shadow is never sure he’s really there.  He looks at the ground and sees nothing beneath his feet.

 

     The witch hunts come cyclically, just like the seasons.  We know it is time long before we hear the pounding of hooves, the blood-thirsty cries.

     The man who led the hunt for my mother was probably the most enamored of all her lovers.  And the most tormented.  He brought his wife, a small, plain  woman with flat brown eyes.  She’d known, of course.  They always know.  He’d offered her first torch when they found the witch.

     There must have been forty men.  You could smell the lust in the air when they stripped her.  I sure would like a taste of this one before we cook her, one of them said as he grabbed at her breast.

     Don’t touch her! I’ll kill the lot of you! screamed my mother’s lover, aiming his musket at all of them. The wife paled at his outburst.  She swayed on her feet like a sapling in a winter wind. My mother reached out a hand to steady her.

     A look passed between witch and wife that can hardly be described.. It flickered brighter than the torchlight in the air between them, a fusion of forces human shaped and witch radiant, so brilliant, so strong, that the men had to turn their faces from it. 

     She passed her torch to my mother, then gently wrapped her cloak around my mother’s bare shoulders.  Piece by piece she flung the rest of her garments at the men, laughing and spinning herself into the frenzy that is older than time.

     The men dared not say a word.  The husband could not.

     Embracing the stake like a lover, she wrapped her naked arms and legs around it as my mother lit the pyre.  Not a hand was lifted to stop it. 

     Afterwards he carried my mother home, belly down on his horse.  He married her and got his shadow back.  It was said, for a time, that he’d never looked better.  My mother, of course, died the death the wife had chosen for her.  It was slow, and a terrible thing to see.  First they bound her hair, then they put bonnets on her, and in time when he looked into her eyes he saw nothing.  Nothing at all.

     A witch without her magic is like a man without his shadow: useless both of them, and damned anyway.

Personal Stories of Lupus

May 10, 2009

Its Mother’s Day here in the USA.  I’m a mother home very sick with a lupus complicated drug reaction.  Since this is Lupus Awareness Month, I hope to blog  something every day about lupus in order to increase awareness. If you want to help me, please share the info and links on your blogs. If you are a woman, or love someone who is, you really  need to know more about the effects of this devastating disease:

Personal Stories of Lupus

Lupus Awareness Month – The Five Stages of Lupus

May 9, 2009

 

Sung by Avril Lavign

You’re not alone
Together we stand
I’ll be by your side
You know I’ll take your hand
When it gets cold
And it feels like the end
There’s no place to go
You know I won’t give in
no I won’t give in

Keep holdin’ on
‘Cause you know we’ll make it through
We’ll make it through
Just, stay strong
‘Cause you know I’m here for you
I’m here for you
There’s nothing you can say (nothin’ you can say)
Nothing you can do (nothin’ you can do)
there’s no other way when it comes to the truth
So, keep holding on
‘Cause you know we’ll make it through
We’ll make it through

So far away
I wish you were here
Before it’s too late
This could all disappear
Before the doors close
And it comes to an end
With you by my side
I will fight and defend (ah ah)
I’ll fight and defend (ah ah) yeah yeah

Keep holdin’ on
‘Cause you know we’ll make it through
We’ll make it through
Just, stay strong
‘Cause you know I’m here for you
I’m here for you
There’s nothing you can say
Nothing you can say
Nothing you can do
nothing you can do
There’s no other way when it comes to the truth
So, keep holding on
‘Cause you know we’ll make it through
[Keep Holding On lyrics on http://www.metrolyrics.com%5D

We’ll make it through

Hear me when I say
When I say I believe
Nothing’s gonna change
Nothing’s gonna destiny
Whatever’s meant to be
Will work out perfectly
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah….

La da da da, la da da da da
La da da da da da da da da

Keep holdin’ on
‘Cause you know we’ll make it through
We’ll make it through
Just stay strong
‘Cause you know I’m here for you
I’m here for you
There’s nothing you can say
nothing you can say
Nothing you can do
nothing you can do
There’s no other way when it comes to the truth
So, keep holding on
‘Cause you know we’ll make it through
We’ll make it through

Ahh, ahh
Ahh, ahh
Keep holdin’ on
Ahh, ahh
Ahh, ahh
Keep holdin’ on
There’s nothing you could say
Nothing you could say
nothin you could do
nothing you could do
There’s no other way when it comes to the truth
So, keep holding on
‘Cause you know we’ll make it through
We’ll make it through

The Good News and the Bad News

April 18, 2009

 

Well, I saw my rheumatologist today. He said my blood work indicates not systemic lupus, but mixed connective tissue disease. He was quite cheery because he said it does not attack the organs like systemic lupus, so this is great news and I should be relieved. But me being me (and most of you being you) I researched it online.  

From MedicineNet:

“Mixed connective tissue disease, as first described in 1972, is “classically” considered as an “overlap” of three diseases, systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, and polymyositis. Patients with this pattern illness have features of each of these three diseases. They also typically have very high quantities of antinuclear antibodies (ANAs) and antibodies to ribonucleoprotein (anti-RNP) detectable in their blood. The symptoms of many of these patients eventually evolve to become dominated by features of one of three component illnesses, most commonly scleroderma.

It is now known that overlap syndromes can occur that involve any combination of the connective tissue diseases. Therefore, for example, patients can have a combination of rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus (hence, the coined name “rhupus”).”

Well woo hoo! Woo hoo!

Economy Crashing Home – AGAIN

March 15, 2009

Gloria Steinem once said that the personal is political. And I fully experienced what she meant. Now, in my life, the political is becoming personal. 

At least my husband’s job is intact…for now. Maybe it was a rumor that the business would fold, but the scare certainly got our attention regarding our vulnerability in this economy . Now, two other family members are definitely being hit.  These are not rumors. Both of them had their own businesses which in another economy would have made it. Now, they’ve lost everything.  Oh I know, I know, material things are not the most important things. We all  write about our values and all the wonderful abstractions that fill our souls and are what count. We talk about the value of suffering and what we learn from it. 

But it hurts like hell to watch your loved ones go through something like this. First, their grief over their lost businesses. I know. I’ve been there.  You put your all  into it and still you have to close the doors. And then the fear. Their fear and yours. What will they do next? What is there to do next in this economy? They’re qualified for jobs… just like  the millions of other equally qualified people  who are waiting on line for interviews.

I know, health comes first. Believe me I know. But right after that comes a sense of safety and security in the world as we’ve known it.  And that, for now, is gone.

First it was physical terrorism. Now our economy crumbling.  It sure feels like another type of terrorism, doesn’t it?

Economic Crash Hits Home

February 26, 2009

Sooner or later the reality of it all had to hit. Like millions of Americans, we lost most of our retirement money in the stock market crash. We thought it had been safe in our 401K.  Even so we figured, hoped, like millions of Americans, that it would rebound. We did not panic, even though my husband is 64 years old.   We still hope so.

And our home, like mostly everyone else’s, is not worth what we paid for it four years ago. Ok, well fine, we don’t want to sell it anyway. We love our cozy little place out in the middle of nowhere, PA. We look forward to our grandkids’ visits out to the country, where we can take them fishing, have sleepouts on the screened porch, catch lightening bugs, that kind of thing.

However recently just before the crash, my husband, primary wage earner, left a very well paying, secure job, to take one closer to home, and me. And that has turned out to be a disaster. Long story short, the company restructured and let go the man who hired him.  Then the other day Alph comes home and tells me there are strong rumors, from good sources.  that the place is going to fold.  Yes, I know, a rumor is just that,  a rumor. But based upon what my husband sees of the management of the place, which he was hired to fix, the rumor seems highly credible.

With no money to draw on from our 401K  or any home equity, we are one paycheck away from no house, no security, no golden years. Luckily, he has already networked with a previous boss who is also a personal friend, and  has consulting work lined up with him for sometime next year which should turn into a full time job.

But still…  one paycheck away from public assistance.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way.  Not at our age. I grieve for the lost, false sense of economic security. Ignorance was bliss.

Loss: Feeling the Pain

January 28, 2009

I wrote in my  previous post, Final Words, about needing to feel the pain of loss in order to move on….well today I am feeling a loss I can’t identify…related to the present…. I know I feel it because I feel so sad, and I can feel the sadness in my chest….heavy….solid…I notice I’ve been feeling kind of angry at my body lately, how it has failed me by turning on itself and using our autoimmune system to attack it, and me. I look in the mirror and want to yell at it….WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME????? The research talks all about genetic markers, but I know that psychologically we can unconsciously do bad things to our bodies. I ask myself, what am I punishing myself for? Then I think maybe its not punishment, but fear causing all this in me. Fear of things I still haven’t worked through.  I also realize that at this time 25 years ago my father was dying. He died on February 5, 1984. I always get depressed at this time of year. Maybe this is all connected…I don’t know….

When I finish this post I will go to prepare for my bible study Friday night. I know that the Lord will comfort me as I read. So I have hope.

Psychscribe Quote #50

January 5, 2009

“It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.” 

                      quote by Emiliano Zapata Salazar (8 August1879 – 10 April1919),  a leading figure in the Mexican Revolution against the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz that broke out in 1910. Source: Wikipedia.

Psychscribe Quote # 47

December 11, 2008

images-41
” One approaches the journey’s end. But the end is a goal, not a catastrophe. ” George Sand

The Present for You

October 17, 2008

 

Here is a present for you:

Focus solely on the present below, thinking of nothing else but the image of that present…the colors….the shapes…focus for as long as you can…and then, when you’re ready, open the present and see what you find…

 

 

In  doing this exercise you are already practicing being present…experiencing peace and release from worries about tomorrow.

What did you find when you opened your present?

Staying Present- A Life Lesson

October 14, 2008

Copyright Jupiter Images 2008

“Look not back in anger nor ahead in fear, but think of now with awareness.” Author Unknown 

I chose this quote for my high school yearbook. I have no idea how it surfaced through the years to my conscious memory, but wow!  That 18 year old girl must have had some precognition that the quoted lesson  would be one I so needed to eventually learn (and teach my future clients).

 And learning it I am. Even more aware of the beauty of nature than I’ve been all my life (if thats posssible),seeing it, smelling it, feeling it on my skin,  melding with it, morphing with it, feeling it in every inch of my body and soul. Its a beautiful autumn here in the northeast…

How long are YOU able to stay in the present moment? Have you thought about that? Have you thought about the fact that when you are TRULY in the present moment you can’t worry or feel anxious because that’s about the future? Are you letting the simple joys of the present moment slip away into tomorrows that may never come?

What are your favorite ways of staying present? Staying in the present is a present you give to yourself.

Psychscribe Quote #41

September 28, 2008

Copyright Jupiter Images 2008

 

“We are not human beings having a
spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a 
human
experience
” (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin).

Psychscribe Quote #32

May 9, 2008

“Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” 
James A. Baldwin

Psychscribe Quote #27

April 3, 2008

jesus22.jpg

“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” Jesus Christ

Psychscribe Quote #26

March 28, 2008

“No one ever said life would be a bowl of cherries.” Frank Spinale (my father)

End Domestic Violence

March 7, 2008

produced by mikrocritter on YouTube

Guilt & Shame: What’s the Difference?

January 17, 2008

A lot of people get these two feelings confused.

Guilt is the feeling you have when you’ve done something wrong.  It comes from inside of yourself. Its something you may want to make amends for. It nags at you. Maybe you were unkind to someone. Maybe you broke the law. That kind of thing. It does not consume your identity..

 Shame, on the other hand, is something that is done to you by the bad behavior of another person. It is abuse.It is usually done to children, who grow up feeling they are damaged or defective in some way. Their whole self concept is negative, because they’ve grown up thinking there must be something inherently wrong with me if an adult would treat me that way. The same thing happens when an adult is assaulted. They absorb the shame of the abuser, thus keeping the abuser in control long after he or she is gone.

Therapy can help you to put the shame back on the abuser, where it belongs, and take back control of who you are.

Our Vulnerability as Parents

January 2, 2008
I remember quite well holding my first child in my arms and thinking: Oh my God. I am now so completely vulnerable now that I have you. And we are, as parents, aren’t we? For me, the vulnerability comes in three ways. First, loss of the primary connection as they evolve through different life stages. New ones are formed, but they are different…it is never the same…the connection weakens as they form new ones away from us…as they’re suppposed to… Change always involves loss, doesn’t it… And loss is pain until we make some meaning of it…

 Another vulnerability is the pain of watching them make choices that hurt them and having to stand by and do nothing….because if we try they won’t listen anyway! Not that I listened to MY parents as I made various choices in my life! But then, that is THEIR learning experience, isn’t it…wouldn’t it be nice if we could just inject them with all our painful life experience!

Finally, the vulnerability we have to their suffering and pain, both physical or mental….how it hurts to watch our children suffer….what does it mean? I don’t know…but I think that’s part of the whole journey of life…to make some meaning of it all…for me that meaning is faith….

Psychscribe Quote #8

December 29, 2007

“Do not go gently into that good night

Rage, rage against the dying of the light!”

Dylan Thomas

Psychscribe Quote #5a

December 7, 2007

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying ‘I will try again tomorrow’. Author Unkown

Child crouched behind a wall

November 29, 2007

Hidden, though  she  wants to be  found.

Silent, though  she wants to scream.

Choking on her own  fear and

blind to the hand held out to her.