The Wisdom of Silence

Posted in About me on December 12, 2016 by Tyrienne

I recall when paying honor to Loki was the absolute most controversial action a Heathen could do that would upset entire communities of brothers and sisters- how naive we were, not knowing what the future held in store with our current global political climate!  This post is about why it is judicious, perhaps- to examine what we share and what we keep to ourselves in this time of stark polarization and uncertain informational resources.
silence

Anyway, I have intentionally been keeping a very low profile lately-  I have been attacked by both the far left and the far right both inside…but mostly outside of our community.  I have searched for reliable news sources on current events, and have learned I have nothing to recommend except for broadening ones circles of acquaintances and relying on first hand accounts of incidents and situations as they occur.

The polarization of all peoples is not unintentional- to divide us from our closest friends and family is politically advantageous to those who seek to control us all with the least amount of force from the higher ranks.  There is no need to fight the people while we are fighting among ourselves- declaring “enemies” from within while everyone ignores the quickening erosion of our greater freedoms of speech and thought.

Many times, I have found myself typing up lengthy replies to posts or articles I do not agree with only to delete them- thinking to myself “Why do they need to know what I think?  What purpose does this serve?”

There is a freedom in silence-  the realization that we do not need to over-share our stances, thoughts, and perspectives outside of the homestead or outside of those we consider our closest companions. It is not the right of every stranger to know where I stand on every issue and every thought I entertain. The internet, as it is now, has multiple formats for us to share our every waking idea, this is not necessarily a good thing- for it opens us up to targeted misinterpretations and knee-jerk reactions of others, turning allies to enemies with a “trigger” that could have been better left unsaid.
When deciding what to say and when- think to yourself:  Will what I say improve on the peace of silence?  Will what I say forward the causes in my life for my family and myself…or will it create more divisions?  Is what I want to say truly important and worth fighting for?

At this point in time, it is safe for me to say that I am waiting in the wings until all the in-fighting ceases among all communities that effect my life (Heathen or otherwise) between the rights and the lefts.  I see the passion of both sides and I understand it- but I have the antithesis of motivation to contribute to it.  It is not worth it to me- nor should it be for many of you.  It took me the better part of a week simply to formulate this post, and part of my reason for writing it at this moment is as a service to those who feel as I do- agreeing entirely with nothing offered by the mainstream, but have been burnt by the assumptions of those who believe we think/feel antagonistically towards the causes other people hold dearly. (It is possible to simply be ambivalent without malice!)

Unless you are someone vested in making a statement- why make yourself and your family a target?  Hatred is strong on both sides at this time- you can see it online and in the protesting in our cities, you hear it in every conversation.

As if anything could be possibly more apropos, I discovered this gem of a concept today:

Loki’s Wager:  a form of logical fallacy, is the unreasonable insistence that a concept cannot be defined, and therefore cannot be discussed.

To me, though- most information is rife with logical fallacy- most especially what I formerly considered reliable news sources.  Although it is a logical fallacy to have UNREASONABLE insistence that ideas and concepts at this time cannot be defined.  A simple internet search on whatever the hottest issue du jour will find contradictions and little material on either side backing their claims- hoping that we will invest in what hope or pessimism want us to believe.

Now is not the time to volunteer information and be sorted into antagonistic “sides” if do not fully agree with their platform-  it is a time to watch quietly to find those who are like minded- whatever that is to you, and progress organically.

Now then- if there is prevalent, political ideology that fits your ethic and ideas fully- by all means, jump right in with all enthusiasm.

I have yet to find an ideology that I back fully- so unless and until I do, do not expect me to lend full support to any.  There are ideas that intrigue me everywhere- but liking any particular  idea does not follow that I support without question the source and everything that source represents at this time.

Chances are pretty high that I am not alone in wanting to see how things unravel or knit. That I do not want to waste my time with condemning or exalting trends or movements at this time until I see for myself and for the sake of my homestead if it is best to stay insular or to reach out.

The future can be beautiful for each person- depending on our choices.  For some, the future is most beautiful in seclusion as the rest of the world falls to madness; the social equivalent of curling up with a good book and some cocoa during a blizzard; but instead of a blizzard of snow, one of contradictory ideas and people screaming to be heard.  For some, they are in their element shaping tomorrow.

I have nothing to gain from/have no interest in rocking boats that exist on tsunami’s of fear and sensationalism already.

I heard you the first time- that is why I have been going through and literally unfollowing the one trick ponies who cannot move beyond their slogans and browbeating- as well as reaching out to people who are saying new things,and following leaders of movements that personally effect me so I can see with my own eyes, without the filter of the interpretations of others, what is said, to whom, and in what context.

If you want to know how Loki’s wager ended- the dwarf who claimed to have won Loki’s head was so pissed he sewed Loki’s lips shut.

Apropos.

Life Inside Nightmares (Fiction)

Posted in About me on December 1, 2016 by Tyrienne

(One small multiverse reality step over from Odin Wanders Inn (Fiction))

Ivy woke up gasping for air- the sunlight poured benevolently through the window as she held her head and tried to shake out the memories of what had just been seen.
Footsteps raced towards her room from down the hall and a fellow traveler rapped on the door, “Miss- are you all right?  Are you hurt?”

“Come in, ” Ivy replied, “…Just a nightmare.”
A scarecrow of a boy, the young music teacher by the name Rai, straddled the only available wooden chair in the room- he was still holding the bow of his instrument.  “…However, if someone were trying to kill me I don’t think your ‘weapon’ would be of much use.”

“You would be amazed.” Rai replied tonelessly,  “There are some songs that make me want to run as far away as possible.  Would you care for a serenade of ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’, or  ‘Oh Danny Boy’?  I swear it will hurt me more than it would hurt you.  What was your nightmare about?  I heard you scream.”

“It was awful-  it was like an alternative to now.  Instead of reading, everyone  lost all ability to speak- to communicate they sent one another pictures from pictures from boxes about the size and half the width of a deck of cards.  People were free to go anywhere, but everyone chose to be confined to little cells only to move to other cells during the day.  They were like what I imagine prison must be like…but without the bars.  One of those prisons had nothing but desks and a phone in each cell that never stopped ringing- and when you picked up the phone is was nothing but screaming- strangers just insulting you, strangers with stupid problems, or worse, problems that couldn’t be fixed.  Some cells had nothing but a monitor and keyboard- rows and rows of tiny cells of people who were not allowed to speak, were not allowed to move beyond their cells- like they were tied down with invisible ropes.”

“That sounds awful- good thing we have only one phone in town, they might start breeding otherwise.  Gotta watch those phones, insidious, horny little buggers.”

“I’m serious- the awful thing was people LIKED it….And The schools…oh gods, the schools-  children spent all day like biscuits on a cookie sheet, like the old days but worse:  They were also unable to move, in one-piece desks as they were forced to listen to lies of a robot- I think it was a robot- in front of the room who spoke in gibberish and ordered them to color in grey tiny circles the size of the head of a knitting needle in complicated patterns.  They had little ascetic value- and if they colored wrong they were berated until they crumpled-.”  Ivy broke off looking visibly distraught.

“Breath Ivy…, go on”

“Okay…okay…there was more, though man…There were no chickens, no livestock anywhere, everyone bought individual cuts of meat like pieces of amputated parts from huge warehouses lit all in  blinding bright white lights.  Fish didn’t look like fish- just slices of anemic looking slime in clear trays. It was so weird.   There was fruit of every colour and shape and I couldn’t name most of them- but when you bit into any of it- it tasted awful: too sweet or mealy, or nothing at all.  Everything was beautiful in those warehouses- from a distance, but up close it was a real horrorshow, and I was the only person repulsed by it all.  The warehouse had rows of shelves of what looked like tiny little gift boxes in a thousand colors and sizes and not a one of them smelled like food- but people were eating the stuff inside.  It all smelled like poison- it was disgusting! People were living in deserts complaining of drought and people had land but didn’t hunt game.  They just ate that weird poisonous tasting crap from all the little multicolored little boxes and everyone was ill from it, but no one stopped doing it.”

“Sounds dystopian”

“Well, no…not quite.   A lot of our people who are dead here  were alive there. It was so fucked up man… Yule was alive, for example- they fixed him somehow. That dwarvish looking mofo was entirely whacked out of his skull on drugs, Hatter was in and out of jail, nothing fucking made any sense.  Then some people who are alive were dead in the dream.”

“Was I alive?”

“No, …Rai, you were the first person who died-.  I can’t even talk about what happened to you without getting upset.  Just imagine the worst, most insanely illogical way to die- then know it was likely worse than that.  I can’t explain it, I guess in that way the dream was like other dreams, some things you just can’t explain, you know?   There had to be like six different funerals- all packed to bursting, though.”

“That’s hilarious. At least I was remembered fondly”

“Nah…it’s not like normal.  People didn’t remember you for you-  some people treated you like an old-fashioned saint and prayed to you like one of the Gods.”

“…This keeps sounding better and better…”

“…Until people got sick of all the adulation and started making up the worst accusations they could think of to pass around about you- In the dream I had to fight those people with my writing-when I knew you about as well as I do now- maybe less.”

“You don’t Not know me-  I mean, I pass through here a couple of times a year at least…”

“Yeah…but I don’t think I could write your obituary- not when you are hardly thirty.  I think the deaths of the young are the hardest, even for acquaintances.  In the dream I watched people live like zombies- people who have been long dead and gone,  and people gone there who I cannot picture life without here.   I was in a  world full of strangers and even Bob was a cult leader making up a new religion to the people who seemed to live in the white warehouse instead of the vegetable garden- he was preaching, literally, about gardens like they were endangered or gone entirely like passenger pigeons.”  Ivy’s fingers were tangled in her own hair massaging her aching scalp as Rai sat silently in thought, both hands absently fidgeting with his bow.

“Well, it can’t be prophecy at least.  Yule died  at least seven years ago if it is any consolation.”

“Do you think I should bother Hexer Jaeger about this, Rae?  Dreams aren’t usually so….cohesive.  I don’t think going to Bob the Braucher and saying ‘Hey, I had a dream where you ran a cult’ will improve his view of me any. ”

Rae sighed. “Ivy… his opinion of you is not at risk- but there isn’t any cause for concern…did you read any Philosophy when you attended University? I have this book I had to read on Plato…”

She interrupted, “…that every thing that exists is an imitation of something perfect in the realm of thought?  That we are all in a cave chained to the floor, some people escape, return with new insight and are called insane by those in their own families?  That Agathon is past his prime and Socrates wants a new little boy to molest? What?”

“How about that everything you can imagine is real, already thought of, and exists in other realities?  That we are alive and aware of whatever our minds create- and sometimes the mind can be an observer and creator simultaneously- of everything we dream and think, new realities are created.”

“That sounds like Descartes on psilocybin, Rai….and if that were the case: I design terrible realities.”

“Okay.  Maybe I get the old philosphers confused- my discussions with Bob were more about local history than ancient Greek.  But hear me out-  what if everything we dream is us viewing a different reality where we live?  Maybe you live here in the Inn and chronicle everything that happens here, maybe in another life you are a phone-prisoner, or poison eater at the body-part warehouse.  Perhaps it is to help you appreciate what you have right now.  You’re a Lokean, your God has the weirdest ways of helping his own out.  I pray to his daughter- she’s much more straight forward.”

“So, the phone prisons, the school-prisons, and the white lit warehouses and little colored boxes of poison to eat exists somewhere?”

“Well, of course I hope not Ivy…but if it does- if there is a place out there that fucked up I imagine the parts of our families trapped there would dream of here.   Would it cheer you up some to catch a few chickens with me, Gala, and my sister Lana?  Getting some real, honest food together on the fire would do you and everyone here a world of good.”

“Sounds good.  Especially if you still don’t need the feathers… I’ll be happy to take them as well after the plucking:  My pillows could use an upgrade. Hey, do you ever think the world,or our reality is changing and dreams are all we have to recall what once was?  Sort of like we change dimensions like we sleepwalk into other rooms and then wonder how we got to where we are?”

“I think you get tangled in your own head and can’t find your way out-  If you are going to do that, at least make it entertaining.  That’s why I’m a musician I guess- my thoughts can’t really be expressed with words most of the time- I’d rather just play it out  Maybe you should write about it later, in the meantime we’ll all meet you outside when you’re dressed-  I am pretty sure we will still be chasing chickens for a while yet,”  He stood up and walked out the door only to lean in his head a moment later,
“…Last one out is a dead man…”

Thank you for shopping face down

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia commons

Breathing Water.

Posted in About me on November 20, 2016 by Tyrienne

snow
It was two in the afternoon and the room was still dark except for lines of faint light at the edge of the heavy curtains- wind from the fan did little to drown out the staccato rap of the sleet outside.  With that sleet came memories unbidden- a red car on a black highway crawling through similar conditions and the truck, going ninety, that spun that car into the sound barrier.
Standing on that car, her best friend who had been estranged for three months prior grabbed her down and said “Don’t ever scare me like that again,” his hair was loose and so dark a red it seemed black- his bones was anorexic and strained looking in his skin.  She never should have worried- he assassinated her character with his own words immediately after that vignette and she would spend years wondering why he wanted to destroy her.

“Stop it.”  the road was now empty, and the ice had turned to snow which gently began to lay covering the shards of glass and debris flown from her trunk. “You don’t have to remember it like this.”
“But it’s the truth.  I didn’t get a degree in Philosophy to lie to myself-  I don’t choose to remember.  I get scared.  I then can’t remember what scared me, then I have to remember so I know that this,” she gestured to the car, “isn’t right now.”
“However, the problem is…you also have enough education to know everything is ‘right now’; that time is an illusion.  How does this help you?”
“It gives me answers.”
About six feet tall, sturdy, with a dark coat and fox-red hair, Loki looked utterly human- not a barbarian in furs nor a spandexed cartoon villain.
“The story is the goddess of snow herself got pissed off at me once- killed two of my kids, chained me to a rock with their intestines right in front of my wife, THEN had a had a snake drip venom in my eyes for an eternity just because I told the truth…  I am pretty traumatized by weather events myself.”
He sat down in the snow- the car had vanished as had all signs of the road- leaving nothing but the shadows of tall evergreens in the distances- black against white.  I sat beside him- feeling rather small as he looked off into the distance.
“But- although things do happen at once- they do not happen to the same person.  I am not the man tied to the rock, you are not the one in a crumpled Eclipse.  What do you recall from before impact?”
“As I hit the section of highway, I had a feeling I might die.  I prayed out loud to some Goddess, I don’t recall who- to protect me.”
“You had much better luck appealing to her good nature than I did,” he smiled wryly. “It isn’t so bad to have a healthy fear of some things.  Some of my best friends were snakes too, but I have to admit our relationship isn’t what it once was… all things taken into consideration.” He put his hand on my back- and it didn’t matter much that I had not seen him in a long while.  Then, other memories- new memories began to play.
Of an interrogation where the cruel face of the arresting officer was replaced by the cool visage of a cool expressionless raven-haired man in military uniform- his right wrist of his jacket expertly pinned and empty.
Of a blonde man who gave up fighting to protect a woman.
Of fierce ladies who judged the unjust and enacted hard punishment in the lives of those who lived dishonestly- usually unseen, who tipped the scales and manipulated karmatic retribution more effectively than any court or human vigilante.
“It is hard to see something specific when you are immersed in it.  A rock under still water looks no different to the drowning then the same object on dry land to the safe.  The rock is never the problem- the breathing of the water is. Remember to stop trying to breathe things that suffocate you.”

Not knowing what else to do, I wrote it down as I recalled.  I edited it sparingly, and wonder why something that seemed so long in my mind, took so few words on paper.  I am still in the dark room, afraid of the weather, but it isn’t so bad as long as I remember I am here, inside and safe.  Everyone is afraid of something- and the lore of my religion indicates I am in exceptionally good company.

Can You Write/Draw? Make a Children’s Book Bitte.

Posted in About me on September 28, 2016 by Tyrienne

A dear friend of mine I have known for almost two decades by the name of Aurora Lightbringer has become a wonderful educator and has started to attempt to fill the huge void that exists regarding pagan children’s books.  Further, if you have children, she also wrote a wonderful article HERE on how to navigate the public school system with the most respect the belief system/s in which you raise your children.

Aurora’s website (including her books), may be found HERE.

Although I am Heathen by nature any book by anyone of any pagan practice is one we did not have before!  One of the questions I am asked most often is “Where can I find good books for my children?”

The problem is: I don’t have children…  I don’t get to peruse the book aisles and see what is/is not available.  If you are reading this and you have further links to excellent children’s books for pagans and heathen kids, please share them in the comments and I will do my best to create a comprehensive list.

In the meantime…   the fact that this is even a Question indicates that we have a void that desperately needs filling by talented authors and artists who have the time and inclination to make improvements to our communities where they count- in the education of the next and future generations in caring in partnership with nature (as opposed to the monotheistic view of “ruling” her), integrity, industriousness, creativity, and encouraging a love of learning, appreciation of our folklores, as well as encouraging critical thinking.

Since I do not have children, I have NO IDEA how to write for them.   Parents time and again keep referring back to Harry Potter as if it is a resource; and although those books are enjoyable- they aren’t realistically pagan in way that can be experienced day to day.

The best I can come up with on my own is an idea of a story about a lonely little boy living in the middle of nowhere ignored by his parents as they go off to work and a gentle, brown dairy cow deciding she is his fylgia on the first day of Summer…which ultimately results in him growing up to be a happy farmer  who has the absolute best ice cream and cheeses as his siblings grow up to be “conventionally successful” in the big cities: stressed, divorced, ill, and suicidal.

I lack the subtlety to write for kids… but you might have that special touch I lack.

If you write it, I will share it.  I will add it to the list.  I want to make a list, but I need your help to do so.  Please share your favorite authors/books, and I implore you to please write your own and create a legacy that counts!

cow

Because my story ideas are so lame anyone can come up with better than this. (Picture via Pinterest)

The History of Ivy (Fiction)

Posted in About me on August 29, 2016 by Tyrienne

Read the first part of the story here.

Journal entry April 12th, 2001

I had been fortunate to catch the early trolley, which in turn allowed me to catch the Market-Frankfort to fifteenth street a sound hour and a half prior to class.

On fortunate days such as these- I always enjoyed a leisurely bagel at the 15th street station donut shop.  Usually, I was pressed for time, but having some breathing room was nice for a change so I decided to try and write this for posterity while I sit on the train.  At home, I have two main employers;  I work developing film for a local camera shop and I also work at a specialty shop that caters expressly to birdwatchers- these two stores are adjacent to one another.

As far as problems go?  I am done.  I am fine… in my messenger bag is the letter I received from the AmeriCorps, like Aspen- I am heading out West in August which should alleviate the mounting tension between my grandparents and I- I will be organizing concerts at an amphitheater on a reservation in the middle of nowhere- I am excited to get away from here. Pat woke up from his coma- but he’s about as functional as a forth grader, and suddenly both straight and convinced he is in love with me because his mother told him Jesus said as much.

Dev is at Temple- but he is honestly the only friend locally other than some stragglers who stuck around my hometown since elementary school, like myself, going to school in Philly.  I even tried smoking pot for the first time with Tim and Andy-  Andy and I both in his car for an hour afterwards desperately rubbing magic tree air fresheners all over our clothes  because he would catch hell since he is on break from Harvard- and I would catch hell because, well,  It is just not what my family does.  Hell, my family threatened to disown me if I dyed my hair pink!  It isn’t worth losing the career I haven’t started…but how do they not realize I’m an art student by now perplexes me.  Then again, so was Hitler…maybe I should try that argument.  If Hitler died his hair pink artistically, I doubt he would have led the Reich…

Since it has been a few months since my last update online- I think I should say that this madness with Dusty is getting even more nonsensical.  He’s my best friend, but he’s an asshole.  He has this shitty girlfriend who hates everything about him- but “sees potential” to make him into something more palatable to her tastes…and she is neither bright nor pretty enough to justify the nervous breakdown he’s experiencing over her.  Just break up, move on.  He has become entirely unreliable- seriously, I wonder if I am better without him…but on the other hand, we are the last two people who know what Peter was like prior to his drug addiction.

It had crossed my mind that Dusty was travelling the same lines…literally, his entire potential up his nose as he looks into the mirror on which he cuts his cocaine.

Except for the occasional lesbian sex- I am still boring in my opinion.  I have straight A’s for the first time, it apparently WAS my environment of living with two teenage parents who brought me into this world without my consent that held me back.  I miss my dad sometimes, but how good can he really be if he unquestionably supports a woman who does such fucked up things?

To punish me for leaving two years ago they keep my dog chained up in all weather- thinking I will come back to “save” her…and bring her where?  Then we would both be in chains.  Poor Persephone.  For as much of a shithead as Dusty is most of the time, he at least checks on my dog and little brother… our friendship is worth at least that much to him; I live over an hour away and I would prefer never to see that hirsute, screeching harpy I was brought into this world against my will by (and almost taken out by many, many more times) I believe I will live a rather happy life…or rather, a life where I can breathe for a minute without having either obscenities or porcelain knick-knacks thrown at me- and then forced to watch her write down on a tally sheet how much I “owe” her for the items she decided to break in her anger against me.   I see the school shrink over it- I really do not have much self worth- they say.

Today I’m wearing my rose colored glasses over my contact lenses, my favorite button-down shirt that changes from gold to purple iridescence with some jeans and my black boots and my leather duster. I copied my makeup after a show I caught on cable of a girl found in a river-  shimmering blue lips and silver eyes and glitter. My hair is too short to really pull off the look right.  I’m blonde enough but  I just had my hair trimmed and highlighted again and made an appointment to do the same thing right before I leave.  I have yet to tell anyone I joined the AmeriCorps- but honestly, I believe it is the only way I will be able to get out of my grandfather’s college (where I am not sure if these good grades are earned or nepotism) and someplace, anyplace else.   I doubt I’d get into Berkeley…but I can try. Maybe the AmeriCorps experience will help pad my application a bit.  The train is coming to a complete stop and announcing I’ve arrived at the piss-drenched station.  I’ll grab my bagel and see if perhaps I can find April to see if we can complete that lens exchange- my fisheye for her telephoto if I am fortunate.

I cannot believe what is happening right now- so I will write as fast as I can as this is occurring.  I made it to the donut shop and before I ordered, the woman ahead of me ordered the exact same thing I was about to- an iced chai latte, a toasted garlic bagel, and two cups of chive cream cheese.   She then turned to me and said

“Ivy, could you pick a table- we need to talk, I’ll bring the food over- you have a little time.”

I  have no idea who this woman is- but she looks more like I do than most of my blood relatives in her features- she looks like she would stab a man in a fist fight- but she has this amazing long, dark hair and is covered in these crazy orange and blue tattoos on her arms.  My parents had me so young I never know who I am going to run into who wants to tell me about weird shit my father has gotten into- and I wouldn’t recognize the majority of my second cousins now since my great grandmother died almost a decade ago.  I am a little weirded out, but not frightened.  She just sat down and told me to keep writing.  She’s going to help me out.  Oh, fuck…a pyramid scheme, I’m sure…either that or this lady found Jesus and knows me from some class or some fucking where and I can’t remember her.  This will be a waste of time.

Okay…so, she has just congratulated me on my acceptance into the AmeriCorps… NO ONE knows except Kate.  I asked her about Kate and she said “Kate stayed out West forever” as far as she can discern and she has only seen her a few times since.   Dev apparently became a pilot and moved West too…and doesn’t know Kate. I asked her if she worked for the government with my father, and she just laughed and said “almost, but I failed out spectacularly”  She believes she is from the future and she just keeps listing off all these obscure things I haven’t told anyone.  Like about the orange carp I saw swimming upstream in Ridley- not moving against the current.  She said that is what is is like with time and that I might understand someday.

Gods, I know I’m considered a “freak”- but if people from that little dirt town up North ever set foot into this city….

-The AmeriCorps will define my life in a good way.  Nice to know.
-Yes, Dustin is “in love” with me- but it’s not worth the heartache, there are too many negative variables and he only dates people by cheating on who he is currently with.  That explains why we’ve never gotten together.  Love is not enough; in the timestreams where we are together it is disaster.  He has a “time traveller” self too- and it told him not to hurt me, this lady says he’ll hurt me anyway just to keep distance that will never be resolved in a way that satisfies anyone…besides, in a few years all realities have him so strung out he is unrecognizable…and frankly stupid.   She claims he’s stupid now, I just can’t see it yet.
-Dev is partially right about 2012, the world as we know it will not be the same, but she said the world won’t be the same after 2001, either.    Honestly, the world changes daily.  I am assuming this is one of the random psychics from Rose’s faires at this point having a schizophrenic break after running into me here in the city.  I still have an hour and school is a five minute walk from here.
-Apparently now we aren’t on the same timeline because she visited me and changed my future: A-okay crazy lady.
-Apparently, there are other families who follow the old Gods like Woten- she said it won’t be for another five years, but she said it isn’t worth it to join the groups when they get big unless I feel like getting married.  I don’t even believe in marriage, I do not think.  Too much risk.   But, if she is from the future- why is she here?  She claims it is to tell me what she wished she knew when she was me.  Pat will never get better, Dustin will not only not be in my life, but one day it will not even bother me.  It has been ten years since she has seen Aspen in person, but in her Now he lives in the middle of nowhere entirely antisocial. She tells me to keep writing things down- not on livejournal, but still on paper…and then she asks if I would consider switching out my guitar for a viol-type instrument.  She thinks that can prevent “a regret”.
I asked her what she regretted in her life and she replied “Oh, mostly things out of our control- and also some bad relationships.  Hopefully, your life will be different than mine is.”  I asked what was wrong with her life- did she graduate college?  Write a book?  Apparently, two college degrees and at least one book- but she claims “It’s boring as fuck, you will hate it if you have to write it…but on the other hand, it taught that time is simply an a-priori sense of the mind and that by simply using our memories we could transport ourselves back to any point of the timeline in which we consciously exist.  She tried to fix our childhood, she said, by helping us at 8 have the courage to open the window onto the porch roof and escape to the police station a mile away in a single timeline- but the futures from that didn’t have any radically different outcomes.  Simply different relationships and friendships that would end in time, anyway.
It’s about half an hour until Photography II.  I am still waiting on dire apocalyptic warnings…and she just shrugged and said “Keep hiking, keep writing- people will love you, people will hate you…but write, on paper, everything you want to remember.  One day, your memory will fail you.  Oh…and if things seem unfair, just wait.  Everything in the world seeks to find temperance.  Nice tarot card action/reaction, muting and balancing. It just happens”  I tried asking questions about her timeline- and she kept reiterating that we have little in common now-that by meeting- we cannot share the same futures. “Some things you cannot control- at all-  the world you see right now, in this piss-station subway?  This is a beautiful world….in all timelines, the world is not so beautiful in fifteen years.  Things will change, you (me) will mostly survive.   If you get hurt enough- you (me?) will end up having a wonderful spouse who will take care of me (us?)  If I manage to stay intact and unharmed- I will be single, but powerful.  In some timelines, I get to be both in a relationship and powerful…in others, single and crippled.  Pretty bleak.  So…what does she want to tell me?
“Pretty much Everyone you love right now will abandon you- your grandparents, your father will try to pretend to care but ditch you more times than not until he finally just discards you in favor of starting a new family over again, your brother, your friends until all you have left is people you never met yet and people you had to leave behind to prevent them from getting hurt by others.  I just want you to be prepared that no one you know, right now, will love you enough to be here in fifteen years…  they will move away or just leave your life entirely. Well, except maybe Jordan, or Maxwell or if the grandma you don’t live with makes it through her accident you’ll have her…but there is NO ONE else.  The friends who still around are not the people you think much on at the moment…you will love them, but make no mistake to believe that all your emotions aren’t being tossed into a void of nothing now.  The people who stay, even if you hardly know them now, are so much more important than the people you think are important.  Make your decisions accordingly, and by the way, the coffee and bagel are on me.  Use that fiver on a cab, if you don’t you’ll ruin that sculpture you’ve been lugging around. ”  she patted me on the shoulder and then said cryptically. “Also, never, ever date any person you will ever work with more than a one night stand.  Ever.  Do not allow yourself to be convinced to, by anyone.  If anything can change your future for brighter, that will.”

So.  That was a weird vignette.  I do not know who to talk to about this. I’m 19 years old as of last month and recently dumped by some awful fuck who wanted a girl with the pink hair met on a random train.  They broke up with her after a week or two.  The woman at the donut shop said my grandparents are right about him- he will never be worth anything at all…but that is okay, in fifteen years, I will not mean anything at all to my grandparents- which I find impossible to believe. We have always been so close and I really cannot imagine a life without them.  I am moving to preserve our relationship- not destroy it.  The woman I met claimed it does not matter.  I did take a cab, however…the sculpture got another “A”.  Not bad for an hour of gluing rocks into a helix for an hour.  Fuck, I wish I knew if my work was actually ‘good’- or if that A was, yet again, courtesy of being descended from a man with places on campus named after him.

Anyway, at least I wrote this in the journal that I have the Tolstoy book jacket on- I never have any risk of anyone picking up what looks like a thick tome of Tolstoy and “borrowing” it… and I can keep these crazy-ass, fucked up experiences to myself…or see if they come to pass.  I will duct-tape the pages and sharpie “Not to be opened until 2016”. Also…I had to look up what “a-priori” and “tabula rasa”: “Already existing” and “blank slate”, respectively.  Maybe it will mean more to me in 16 years.

I have read that Odin can be found everywhere- can Odin also be a dark-haired woman with hair over her one eye…?

I do not know, only time will tell.
See you in sixteen years, Ivy,

Truly,
Ivy Von Reynard, age 19.

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Column: Heathen Worldview and Presidential Politics

Posted in About me on August 27, 2016 by Tyrienne

I was one of seventeen Heathens featured from sixteen different states on this article on the Wild Hunt by Karl E. Siegfried.

Check it out here!

Odin Wanders Inn (Fiction)

Posted in About me on August 25, 2016 by Tyrienne

The New Time Chronicles- A Historical Account of Antietam from the Day of Silence

Authored by Ivy VonReynard, reluctant historian Written in the Historic Odin Wanders Inn
(Because no one else wants to do this and Elder Bob is Too Busy Again…
He owes me catnip bug spray for this: *Documented*-IVR)

One day, the internet failed….well, that was the least of humanities problems, really, most electronics spontaneously died one day, and most of them did not return- memories wiped and an inability to reform decades of coding and technologies from the foundation up again.   The resources we relied upon were too diverse and too reliant on digital storage- and to save on paper, print-outs, copies and physical writing had long ceased to be taught in schools by at least a decade.

Some people speculated it was a solar flare, others and EMP, or some sort of Anonymous technology that was developed by anarchists or some petulant nation, economy; perhaps a corporation with nefarious attempt to cease control of all profits.  HARP?  I am not sure.  Speculation is something we usually do evenings over a fire after the mead horn has gone around a few too many times.  I had no idea we had so many beekeepers, nor vinyards-  I am pretty sure the entire population of this town is lightly buzzed at any given time on either distilled spirits or dried herb;  if I lived around people this upbeat and well, Happy prior to the Day of Silence (DOS) I would have been convinced they were insincere…but I always was a pessimist.

For a few weeks after DOS,  things held together pretty well.  It was just a power-outage, a surge from vague natural disasters that could not be verified for there was no way to do so.

Cars, initially, would not start- their circuitry blown.   On that day, approximately thirty thousand people died of strokes, and countless more of heart attacks. We know because the hospitals manually counted- and Philadelphia has a glut of them within a pretty easy two day walk.  Faster if you can ride.

Newspapers, the very few local that existed, paired up with former military, long distance runners, and equestrians at first to form a network of regional communications.  Then- those who owned boats powered by steam.  Hospitals were operational- but those who required mechanical interventions for survival died with the generators.  Almost Instantaneously.  Nothing could hold a charge.  Something happened to the atmosphere- that was clear…but also, I must acknowledge the air is literally clearer as well.

Steampunk became relevant.  Nothing could hold an ELECTRIC charge for very long- however, nothing stopped the force of steam from turning gears into energy- combustion was still pretty reliable as well- but not quite so desirable.

Libraries, the few left that had not liquidated their “How-to” sections became more sacred than any place of worship- and librarians like the sages of Delphi.  I always warned people about digital books. I never trusted them.

Magnets seemed to work in strange, unpredictable ways…but well, locally we really had no resources to determine why.  Suicide became endemic in direct relation to population density; riots destroyed every city on earth over food shortages and the inability to truck in relief.  Eventually- it either calmed down or we just stopped hearing about it out here.

However, in the countrysides like this one- the strange, formerly ‘backwards’ places filled with the disparaged poor and the strange no-media antisocialists- after a few rough starts, began to thrive.

People with home gardens expanded to farms- and abandoned homes that had spent years under the yoke of the former market were now free to be occupied- it was easier to live near family and friends to sustain ourselves.  Our counties here had been used as farmland since prior to the time of the Empire of the United States- the soil was fertile, well watered, and had been smoothed of rocks centuries before.   We were fortunate- and sparsely populated after the Great Recession destroyed our old economy which once relied on factories, railways, and metal foundries- leaving the cities abandoned and the towns prior to the New Times, a sea of “for sale” signs as the locals left for other states or countries seeking desk-servitude in exchange for the right to access goods and services instead of working honestly for it.

It truly is amazing how primitive people once were- unable to grow a single, edible carrot or even kill and dress a chicken without gross incompetence.

What was truly interesting were the Odinists.  Indigenous to Pennsylvania and other states- the Pa Deitsch denominations blended easily back into the fabric of land-tending with the greatest ease- our records, both written and oral of the cycles of our local seasons and the peculiarities of our homelands in each of our counties was substantiated by the existence of the Indigenous Nations whose records we shared though hundreds of years of cultural and romantic intermingling.

Locally, accord was sought to reconcile the Urglaawe and the Amish Anabaptist out of a sense of brotherhood and mutual assistance.  The Hexerei had been the black sheep of both communities as long as anyone could recall- but black sheep still produce the same quality of wool, and occasionally- lampchops-  Now, all that mattered is the relief in being able to communicate auf Deutsch and have even greater access to knowledge;  the greatest resource.

Each language known by a person gives them a metaphorical key to libraries of knowledge those without such learned abilities could not otherwise access;  for the first time in years I revisited my notes from college written in Pars;  but for practicality sake- one could live pretty well here in my town with three languages:  English, Deitsch, and Espanole.  Those with talent or knowledge of other languages were highly sought after.  There were no longer translation programs to do it automatically for us.

My thesaurus I bought in high school decades ago has become one of my fondest treasures; without it, this hempbook would be empty.

In a village of stone homes between two foot hills stood a grand and welcoming building; called Odin Wanders Inn- and inside was a place for travelers to stay, work lightly for a meals and board, and decide if they wished to stay or wished to journey onward seeking other survivors who found other ways to adapt to the new circumstances.  I work here when I write… I like being able to walk away from the pages and do something productive so greeting travelers and strangers works well for me.  Also, it gives me more to write about.

Here in Antietam, well- mostly it was just us Germans, several people who were descended from Latin nations who could do simply amazing things with food and making the most of  once-limited agricultural spaces, and random folks of every possible hereditary background who had found a useful niche and were welcomed with relief and open arms- especially now Asi, the guy from Liberia, turned out to be a lens maker/optometrist… we bribed him to stay with a beautiful house with its own pond.(We have four stone masons) 

Before he arrived, all we had was former EMT’s, a family doctor, a few herbalists, and some people with experience in the mental health profession.  People still needed glasses.  He has two apprentices.  Thank Gods. Racism takes a back seat to common sense.

Eyesight is improving in the young people, though- except for those with outstanding book obsessions.

Some in town, in the beginning, proved to be unethical- regardless of how wonderful their family members; narcissists and sociopaths still existed- however, they were immediately visible by their lack of contributions. Their manipulations were only tolerated for brief periods until the community census basically declared them Verboten, to the relief of pretty much everyone.

I have been living here for a couple of decades- yes…prior to New Time.  My family is from here going back longer than written records.  This land has been part of my bloodline for so long that we know the same iron that is in that blood is that which colors the rocks on the quarry walls nearby.  Other places where we used to live weren’t sustainable.  Before our intuitions became clearer again, I felt a pull to move back here.  It was where most of my family was born in this country- and out of country travel to lands of languages I do not speak would be impractical at this time.

Richland was always a inhospitable wetland and Merion was too close to the city during the Riot Wars that ensued within a week after the DOS to be safe to clean up anytime soon.  In my opinion- let nature have it.  The broken glass and bullet shells will eventually be covered with dirt.  Maybe the tires will stop burning someday.

Nothing like that ever happened here- we are a hairline crack of a valley that looks like a lake from above.  I know- Tom taught me how to glide off of the Pagoda terrace- it was rough convincing Joy and her father to move here; but Richland was sinking and living here is a heck of a lot easier than a week away in Derry which snows most of the year.  They still might go North- the rest of their family is up there.

It would be incorrect to say that a place is its people…but rather, more correct to say people become part of the breathing organism of their location- if they are given the freedom to- and people come and people go-  just like freckles.  Some stay, some fade, some are new- some are with you from the day you are born until you burn your way to ash on the funeral boat in the lake.

Land will either accept you or deny you- acceptance is found in Glimpses of beauty and lack of desire to leave;  as my grandma would say- in Luck as well.  A place that brings you Luck is not one to leave lightly; when everything is going so well, why leave a great thing?

Travel was highly encouraged as the chaos died down and people settled into sustainable routines.  Humans are very adaptable.  My friends sent me a message from Tsa-La-Gi by writing a really catchy tune that migrated up the musicians like lightning:

“Ivy this is Tsa-La-Gi
Safest place you’d ever see
and crazy bird, we implore
All us cats who you adore
Want to hear from their Ivy

Grab a ticket, grab a train
We got you shelter in the rain
Come on home girl,
Life is great, girl
Everybody gonna keep on shining”

Well,  that was the version when I heard it-  Jimmy, Jaime, and Matty wrote it better than the version that reached me- but close enough- and it just made it’s way up from jam sessions at rainbow gatherings all the way to our Wednesday sumbel fifty days walk a day. Humans are amazing.  Honestly- the song was good when they wrote it…but i think it got a little weird with all the passing-up the continent.  “For Ivy Von Reynard” is a pretty catchy title, no?

When we could still drive practically- it took about 5 days to get from here to Tsa-la-gi if we wanted to…but we never did.   After the tracks were cleared off by each community and new engines installed- I offered to escort mail out west in exchange for a rail-pass to get to Muskogee-  I stayed about six months.  Tsa-la-gi is a lucky place for me as well.  The problem with travelling old style is it becomes very easy to see how stories of travelling salesmen could live two complete but entirely non-intersecting lives at once in two places-  I am proud to say I kept my integrity, and although tempting, I am more useful up here.  Augery is the most reliable weather prediction we have- good thing I stuck to birding as a hobby before New Time.

Speaking of which,
“Freebird” was and will always be popular- so will “Stairway to Heaven”, “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Purple Haze”.  I really had no idea we had so many talented instrumentalists until there was no longer radio or a means to play back recordings easily accessible.  Oddly enough- people prefer this, calling the prior two hundred years “The Canned Era of Music”- it had its classics,

“Smells like Teen Spirit” and “Nothing Else Matters  was the “Ode to Joy” and “Greensleeves” of my own time: the mid-canned music generation.

I exchanged local recipes for random pickled things and passed on a shit-ton of light quilts (and high quality medicinals), and they gave me instructions for recipes of their own and also how to use honeysuckle to make baskets as well as a standard cornucopia of Give-Away.  Antietam is covered in honeysuckle and the local knowledge of our own was lost.  It is a good thing to have friends in other places.  Other people have spent years travelling between here and towns in Oregon with plant hybrids.  Trade pacts between distant communities have become essential.  It astounds me to this day to think the world once seemed so small with all our distortion of technology.  The world is vast when you aren’t crippled to an interface watching it from inside of a box.  Inside of technology, we have the illusion of freedom as the walls suffocated us.

It used to be that one wouldn’t think twice about moving away for a better wage-master or a larger house.  But, it makes no sense now, to explain the past to children perplexes them.  Moving away hurts if you love people, but it feels great if there are not people near you who love you.  Some people are still looking for a place to fit- I think if there is a time to find it, it is now.

If you want a bigger house- you can build it; it just takes a lot of work and a lot of favors called in.  It is easier to get a bigger house if you need one- like if you have a lot of kids or own a way-inn (like this one), or maybe expand your dining room if you host dinner often.  That usually isn’t a problem- it is pretty much a given that if you are willing to cook and open your home to the community, we as a community are more than eager to give you every resource to do so… especially if you can cook well.

Sure… I can grab an egg from the coop and cook it on the stove every night if I truly wanted to- but why would I when Mark and Arielle are working together to throw some complicated guinea-fowl concoction with like fifty ingredients that tastes like my tongue is being stabbed with unami spears?

Leftovers go to anyone who helps them clean it up.  Usually, the kids volunteer- they are easy enough to bribe with strawberry pie to do any simple tasks, really. Corn starch, sugar, strawberry….something for crust.  Even I can manage that much- I’ve been making one a day with preserves even in winter just to keep the pathways shoveled, the garden weeded and the outdoor animals in clean spaces.

I think they would rather clean after a thousand chickens than listen to my lecture on EurArabic War that ended on the DOS.  Fara usually takes care of history, but spends most of the time travelling between libraries.  I have the notes and I took the classes.  Parents want me to teach topics that they were forced to sit through for years…and I do, but also- I try to figure out what the kids want…  Jasper is showing a real interest in Theology and keeps pretending to be Azrael everytime I cook a chicken.

It is adorable and slightly unnerving.  I wish I could interest the kid in Idunna and get him obsessed with orchards, but nope.  He is fascinated with death.  He will make one hell of a funeral priest one day-I dread having him as an apprentice to trip over when the next round of people pass away.  The medical people handle the gooey details of preparing the bodies and such.  I just handle the ceremony arrangements and help transition the family to new resources and sources of the niches once filled by the deceased in the lives of us all.

My life is not without challenges or conflicts- but overall- there isn’t that much actual “work”.  I teach, I write…and if someone barters with me something nice I might be willing to sew for them- I HATE sewing, but I can make any tear invisible.  Sure, we have a ton of people who are skilled at making great clothing or other textiles….but I am a sucker for fixing the accidentally ripped plush animals for the local kids.

I think the main difference, that I can perceive “now” verses “then” is that I am no longer limited by labels.  I think we misunderstood labels, we became crippled by them before DOS  crashed us all

My brother runs a knitting circle.  Chelsea has an exchange going with some friends of mine near Portland for textiles and seems to keep them rather organized…however,  I do not really know how to tell all of them that if their crew keep knitting scenes based on video games he will accidentally create a new mythology for future generations.  I swear, if my brother keeps hailing Donkey Kong at sumbel I will Hail the time I hung his superhero underwear out on the front porch when he was ten.

We aren’t just Heathens out here-  our best teacher is a secular humanist, we have a cabal of Messianic Jewish folks collecting for a second library upground from the river- and there are so many pagans of all varieties learning their respective ritual greeting, much less their rituals, which I end up memorizing when one of their own clergy is indisposed.

There are few Christians- but the ones that are here are the “Jesus Loves You” type, not the “Inquisition” type.  We tolerate their monotheism, but their children are exposed to other viewpoints.

In the grand scheme of things- my life has not changed much in what I or anyone else is as a human- all of us did these things before DOS crashed, but as hobbies…things we did to relax.  Heathenry was a great idea- but I really believe it did not reach the potential it has seen now in sustainable living.

There are still going to be ‘Racist’ communities  of every conceivable category as well as ‘Utopian ones;.  We are an honest community, we don’t care what you look like- the main thing is, what skills do you have?  How clever are you?  …and if you can not manage to be either clever or skilled- at least try to be entertaining or sweet.

Most of our population is Heathen, Odin worshipers. We lived here for centuries, so this place drew out like seed for sparrows.  As for other cultures- we are polytheistic.  In most of our cultures there is some metaphorical story about wolves raising the children of others’ as their own… Usually, people who are here who were not born into Heathenry posses similar ethic to us, but in their own faiths.

I think as humans we just do the best we can in explaining the unknown- each religion is simply a perspective.  Of course, I find some more interesting than others.  People who still fear us or have misconceptions about our ethic do not stay long.

Schadenfreud is helping an asshole pack a nice, stubborn horse and mutually parting ways with a smile.  I cannot say I have not said “Good Riddance” under my breath more than one occasion of departure. On the otherhand, people I could not stand prior to DOS are now some of the people I cannot imagine life without.  Brennen was a really creepy cat before DOS- but now he’s out in the fields and bringing in the craziest exotic foods for those who cook, who can complain?

I don’t know what that weird purple tomato thing is- but it tastes like a mango.  That is more than enough justification to keep weird, staring Brennen around in this book. (since I am the one stuck writing it).

Now I am expected to write several tiresome pages on the residents and common travelers coming through Antietam.  This will be tiresome, so I believe this will be all for the day as far as chronicling goes.

As much as I respect Bob and all he does, flitting around, making medicines, being nice- I believe we are destined to be constantly exasperated by the other.  But- the Land itself wanted us both back here- he’s old, he’s family, and I am glad he finally found his life’s desire he never knew he had in a time most of the rest of the former first world would easily classify as Ragnorak or the End of Days.  The county never died, the township never died.  It just waited.

I am about as friendly as a thistle bush, I count myself fortunate the local children do not call me “Poison-Ivy”….or at least, have yet to think to do so.

If you are editing this- please use a separate book to do so, so I can figure out the best way to make clear corrections.  I hate wasting good hempbook paper on elementary red cross-outs and corrections.  It just looks terrible.  I know what ink I used here and I know how to erase it.  It takes about three days to set.   Read this, write your corrections on scrap, and I will rewrite as needed (and remove this part, of course).

I would rather the future generations assume that I had a poor understanding of vernacular than to vandalize perfectly legible penmanship.  This copy will remain the official chronicle of this year unless someone else thinks they can do better.

The Odin Wanders Inn is a friendly place- I meet travelers here and help them where I can with directions…or if came to stay, I find their loved one’s in town for them.  I know a lot of people- Loki has friends in every realm- and Odin Wanders where he will.

I am fortunate to be here- in this time, there was once so much emphasis on war.  Our reputation is borrowed from the angrier Odinists, but we ourselves have peace in ways I never experienced prior to the Day of Silence.

It is best to show hospitality to all stranger-

The person we turn away could solved a problem we had no solution to- and the person we force to stay against their will could literally desire to poison the water supply.  Caution means a new thing in an new era I suppose.  It has been proven in my mind, at least, that the Gods are inscrutable- they all exist, and they can take any form.

But, I’m rambling… I think Rachel put pure grain alcohol shots into my mead again, damnit.  I will need to see Badger or Ravenna to sober up with whatever anti-histimine they have in season right now.

Kindest Regards to Future Readers,
Ivy

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