Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Life is Precious

So said the Lady Dane, my sister, during her cabaret act at Stars last night. And she's so right, especially in light of the horrible crash in D.C.'s Metro system, which left nine dead and over 70 injured.

Maha gratitude to all the Mysterious Ones and Ancestors for looking out for me. Uncharacterstically for a Monday, I decided to take the Metro to get to my 5:15 class at MamaSita, but I fortuntately left later than I would have liked. If I had left at my paranoid early time, I might have been in the accident area right around that time. Thank you to Grandmother Spider, et. al, for watching the strings of time.

Yet, again, I'm reminded of how we just don't know what's coming around that corner, and that, truly, right here and right now is all that we can know as tangibly real and actualized.

I finally made it into the city and ended up talking to a stranger in Dupont park about spirituality and the things that are truly important in life. The June breezes were blowing sweetly, the golden light of the summer sun set the treetops alight, and the grass felt soft on my legs.

Next, I went to the cabaret of Lady Dane, who TORE IT UP, as always. Calling out to ancestors, sending healing to the people, and spreading love in the world. I am so grateful for her in my life.

Nothing like death to keep it real - life's very fragility is a potent reminder of the limitless potential for spending our given moments in love and peace.

Blessings to those who died and were injured in the accident and to their beloveds.

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti, Om.

(Photo of Dane was at our wedding three years ago. Taken by the amazing Danny Haag.)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Inspired Reading

So, I'm almost finished reading the Ramayana, one of the major epics of Indian literature, and I have to say, I can barely put it down.

Nothing is ever simple in Indian cosmology (have you SEEN the depictions of their deities?), and neither are the philosophical-spiritual points of the Ramayana. There are a number of times when the warrior prince Rama goes to kill some human-flesh-devouring, holy-man-terrorizing demon motherfucker, and the creature is actually grateful to be destroyed by this incarnation of Vishnu. Or, the monster is transformed into someone good, because they were under a curse. Much more complex than the standard good-guy-destroys-creepy-bastard storyline.

I was talking to a friend the other day who said that someone was "rotten to the core," and I thought, "Really?" On that deep, deep, fundamental level, I don't think this is the case. That core energy, which is truly hooked-up to the fabric of the Multiverse, is part of the overarching powerful love energy that runs through all of us. No, I don't think that deep part of each being is corruptable.

I do believe we do sucky, horrible, cruel things that twist and derrange our outer expressions, but someday when our deaths come for us, hopefully we can bump it up a notch on the reincarnation ladder and get more opportunities the next time around to practice, to open to love and compassion and then extend that some love out to others.

That's what I'm shooting for at any rate.

If you're interested in a great Ramayana, check out the modern translation and re-telling done by Ramesh Menon.

(Pictured above is the lovely Rama, which I found here.)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Queer Juju

This past weekend, I helped officiate a lovely wedding between a straight couple at the same home where my hubby and I got married three years ago this week. I was sharing the ritual role with my dear beloved, Donald Engstrom-Reese.

Both Donald and I identify as queer and work regularly with Queer Mystery, which can mean various things to various people. For myself, one of its greatest powers is that of living outside of a binary construct of reality. There is no "this or that" type of existence - living in rigid polarity is revealed as complete illusion, thereby allowing for a greater expression of authenticity and freedom, on personal and collective levels.

In times past, Queer Priestesses, Shamans, Witches, etc., had vitally important roles to fill in society, and one was blessing the union of couples. Standing outside the full conventions of that binary world, I could really feel the limitless possibility this weekend, as I held the space for a union of love to take place. Truly, there is a special brand of spirit power that queer people have access to, and I see it reflected everywhere from officiating a marriage to working through an asana practice.

I long for more research and information on some of the ways that people worked this juju in the past, yet I'm not so sure there's tons out there. (Patriarchy be damned!) I wonder if queer spirit folk just need to step up and start writing the story anew; with the information we do have as a stepping stone, we can get out there and reactivate our scared roles in our communities and cultures.

It was a beautiful experience this weekend, and I'm deeply grateful to the couple for allowing me to be a part of their special day.

(The first photo is of the Hijra, a group of third-gendered queer priestesses of India. While reviled by some, the Hijra are also honored as having great spiritual power, including the power of blessing children for a good life.

The photo below is of Philip and me last summer during our honey moon trip to Hawai'i. Happy Anniversary, sweet thing!)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hot in the Kitchen

Last night, I finally used two giant bags of spinach from the CSA in crespelle, the Italian version of a crepe.

I cooked down the spinach, then sauteed it with onion and mushrooms (also from the CSA) and mixed it all together with some freshly grated romano cheese and a bechamel sauce.

The crespelle were filled with the spinach mixe, laid in a baking pan, drizzled with more bechamel, sprinkled with more cheese (yay!), and then baked.

They were amazing, and Philip giggled at me as I moaned, savoring each bite.

They were great today, too, as a delightful lunch!

(And yes, that apron says "La Cucina Italiana;" I got it as a gift when I subscribed to one of the best magazines ever.)