End of a Decade

Friday, 2 April 2010 02:21 pm
mutantenemy: (craft::firelady)
The first birthday card of the year arrived in the mail four days early. My first guess as I reached into the cavernous mail box, fingers searching for the small envelope was, "Ah, must be Mom."

I was mistaken. Ripping it open right there in the driveway, I was pleasantly surprised to be gifted with a lovely homemade card with beaded accents. Within was "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" stamped in a calming teal ink. Hand-written was, "Best Wishes From The Audubon Society."

How very, very cool. I've only been an official member for less than a month and the kind birding fanatics remembered my birthday. Even before my own mother. *chuckles*

It occurred to me this morning, as I poured my very dark, very rich, and very caffeinated coffee into my Cedars mug, that today is the last day of my 30's. Not simply the last day of a year, but the final day of a decade.


My pre-java-jolted brain wheeled from the significance of just how much time has past. Ten years of learning, stumbling, growing, hurting, loving, and coming into one's own. I started my 30th year in pure Wonder Woman fashion -- literally. Red, blue, white, and yellow streamers decorated my old apartment as Seasons 1 and 2 of the TV show played in the background. One friend brought a specially made WW cake, while another brought his muchly coveted Bennie Berry Juice. The party was filled with friends from all aspects of my life: childhood, dance club, wiccan, and other. I loved introducing them to each other and sitting back to watch the freaky geek sparks fly. The evening eventually ended up at the EMBERS where my dancing friends partied with me until I was the last one standing.

Thirty feels like so long ago. My third decade was when I became an ordained Priestess, loved three men, and watched my father die of prostate cancer. I nourished fledgling friendships and had two of them crash and burn before the decade was out. I made tons of mistakes, but was also gifted with just as many revelations. I wrote first drafts of four novels. I ballroom danced. I got corporately laid off three times and fired once. Now I am curious where my new career will take hold. I learned it was okay to be honest and to say "No". I learned who my real friends are. I learned that all the rebirths I've done from the ashes is not a punishment but what I am meant to do to be who I am. I gained weight and lost it and gained a little of it back. I grew hips on this once stick-straight body and grew my hair long. I reveled in being a redhead and embraced my inner geek. My sass has grown sharper and my heart stronger. I've learned I can be tough when the need calls for it, and be compassionate when others won't. I've learned what I am and what I'm not and have accepted both. All of this in just my third decade of life.

Forty will be awesome. There will be burning, there will be flames, there will be a Firebird spreading her wings; soaring over her old shell as she shines vibrantly in all that she is. And there may even be a margarita or three. Whatever this decade brings, I will not shy from it, I will not cower. I will look it proudly in the eyes and say, "Let's rock."

Oh, Raptor!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010 09:00 pm
mutantenemy: (craft::redhawk)
Ten days ago the Audubon Society of Portland sponsored their quite unique and quite fun Raptor Road Trip off of Sauvie Island. This was my second year attending and apparently word traveled fast from the previous year because over 1,600 people showed up for the day.

Originally I was planning on going with my friend Hedwig, but the way things turned out, I ended up going by myself. Honestly, I LOVED going on my own. No schedule to keep and I could stay for as long or as short as I wanted at each designated look-out point.

This year I was prepared as I had a traveler's mug full of coffee, my camera with extra batteries, light layers, hat/gloves/raincoat in the trunk, my Peterson's Hawk Guide, and a thermos of spicy, black bean soup which can coat your ribs and shoo away the chills. I was ready for anything the Oregon weather decided to dish out.

A local joke in the PNW is if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes. Well, I waited five, ten, fifteen and the day still opted to be perfect. Clouds hung back along the horizon and gave us Raptor Watchers a lovely, hazy sky. There was no glare which would provide squinting, nor cement gray darkness to make it difficult to spot eagles and the like.

I drove over the Sauvie Island Bridge around 8:50am, ten minutes before the event started. I was excited about what I might see this year as last year was breath-taking with all the bald eagles, hawks, and falcons.

This year did NOT disappoint. )

Day of Relishing

Sunday, 3 January 2010 07:50 pm
mutantenemy: (Default)
I went on my morning 3 mile walk usually reserved for Mondays. Because let's face it, exercise is about as thrilling as Mondays and paying taxes. As I strolled I watched all the cars drive to their respective churches where folks fulfilled their weekly spiritual duty. Little girls dressed in their Sunday best as the mothers fussed with their unruly hair. Husbands being dragged, wishing instead they were home watching the game. A couple in their golden years, walking hand in hand, enjoying the moment and relishing in the love going to church brings them. Quite the kaleidoscope of characters.

Myself? This is what I breathed in and relished.

mutantenemy: (seasonal::candle sill)

Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam
asher kidishanu b'mitz'votav v'tzivanu
l'had'lik neir shel Chanukah. (Amein)

Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam
she'asah nisim la'avoteinu bayamim haheim baziman hazeh. (Amein).

Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam
shehecheyanu v'kiyimanu v'higi'anu laz'man hazeh. (Amein)

To my beloved friends who celebrate the holiness of Hanukkah, may your blessed Lord and God grant you and your family miracles of faith, prosperity and good health.

mutantenemy: (craft:: shaman)
Or rather a very awesome sale transaction between myself and Rowan. Sunday as I was attending my first public shamanic ritual, I neglected to bring along Hooves, my round skin drum. I purchased him earlier this year from Cedar Mountain Drums in Portland (plug, plug) and I'm still developing a relationship with him. As I was still mentally loopy from the previous night's NaNoWriMo write in, I completely spaced on having Hooves tag along.

Fortunately, Rowan, who lived nearby Lupa, went and fetched her spare drum so that I could participate in Lupa's journeying. Rowan brought back a metal doumbek, a bit tarnished for wear, yet lovely just the same. I gently rubbed the natural skin (not sure what kind, could be goat) to warm it up and in the process I asked the drum if I may borrow it for the ceremony.

It was very courteous and wanted eagerly to be of assistance. Very cool.

With Hooves, I have a soft leather beater I use with it. It's tone is high, but I rarely use my hands to thump out the rhythm because it simply does not work as well. Yet with the doumbek, as I gently rapped with my finger tips, its vibrations were rippling and strong. When Lupa invited Bear and began dancing, my fingertips turned into full-on hand contact as I thumped heavy, sure beats. This drum can be gentle and rough.

I had decided right then and there, that when I get the funds, I wanted to buy myself a doumbek. Interestingly, it is called a doumbek because of the two sounds it can make: a DOUM in the center of the drum and the sharp BEK near the rim. Middle Eastern belly dancers and tribal dancers love this drum for that very reason.

I thanked Rowan for allowing me to use her doumbek and it was then she said, "Well, if you are interested in eventually getting one, would you like that one? I haven't been giving it the attention it deserves for a while now and I'd like to know it's going to home where it will be cared for." She offered a reasonable price and I agreed that when I get the funds (I'm still looking for work like about every other person out there), we can seal the deal. Rowan went one step further, "Why don't you just take it home now and pay me when you can?"

I was beyond words at such a gesture of generosity and trust. I gave her my word she will get paid when I get the money (I have a virtual post-it note on my laptop to remind me) and I thanked her profusely.

So, Sunday night on the New Moon, I polished my new drum.
mutantenemy: (humour::rock on)
This Friday the 13th would have marked my father's 69th birthday. Nine years ago on November 23, 2000, at 60 years of age and on Thanksgiving, he let go of his fight with cancer and died surrounded by loved ones.

He was an amazing man. )
mutantenemy: (craft::i have firebird wings)
By gosh, by golly, it has been a long-ass time since I've updated, hasn't it? Roughly two months of radio silence. Well, as the old year winds down today, I am making a personal goal to set a regular writing schedule. Not once a day, that would be too big of a bite for me to chew, especially with NaNoWriMo starting up in roughly 10 hours. But definitely more than what I've been doing.

So why has the fire-tressed Mutant been on hiatus all this time? No amazing reason. Honestly, I didn't feel like talking. I get that way sometimes because this age's need to have Real Time Information gets overwhelming for me. Though I haven't posted, I have commented here and there just to let folks know I haven't died. :)

For those who are interested, this is what Mutant has been doing with herself lately. )
mutantenemy: (mutant::feathered)
when the sunlight fades and the veil grow thin,
remember Jack is out greeting souls with his crooked grin.

Small ghouls with stitched mouths and buttoned eyes,
Spy your very deeds and inhale your startled sighs.

Yet this sacred day is more than about bumps and scares,
it is a time to honour the Crone and the loved ones who are no longer there.

May the Crone bless you this Samhain with a wise tongue and a compassionate heart.
Do not hesitate, step through the gate, for the new labyrinth awaits and it's time to start.

Mutant has no delusions she is a poet, but the sentiment she conveys is heartfelt and true.

Graphics Credit:
"This is Halloween" by Ex_Shadow @ DeviantArt.com
"Samhain" by Lotte119 @ DeviantArt.com
"Samhain Star" by Nifrodel @ DeviantArt.com
"Samhain Goddess" by ArwensGrace @ DeviantArt.com
mutantenemy: (Default)
Earlier this week I was finally able to reveal the "Sekrit Project" I was working on with 22 other photographers. The news had been making its rounds on Mr. Kyle's journal and participants' blogs for a day. Yesterday we all receive an email from Kyle giving us the most amazing news EVAR:

There is a gallery in Cleveland, Mississippi who want to give "In The Hive" its OWN SHOW in the fall where all 83 photos will be on display.


*rubs eyes*

My first quirky step out into the Photography Community to see what I could do and my photos get a showing along with other cool photographers?

I am stunned. Amazed. And really FREAKING happy!!

Money will have to be scrimped and saved so I can attend because plane tickets, rental car, and hotel room do not come cheap. If to attend my first showing I have to sacrifice a pirate festival or a fall knitting retreat, than so be it. This is a Once-In-A-Lifetime (TM) opportunity and I will not miss it!

Welcome to The Hive

Tuesday, 7 July 2009 12:26 pm
mutantenemy: (geek::photography)
A few weeks ago I posted a vague post about how excited I was about a project I was working on. How I had a tearful, happy moment of, "Holy crap, maybe I CAN do this!" The time has come to where it's okay to reveal it.

That moment is this:

[personal profile] kylecassidy (photographer, writer, creative enabler) sent a shout out back in June for volunteers. He had an idea and wanted to execute it throughout the United States and Canada. Well, you can read about the unveiling details at his LiveJournal HERE.

Over two days I took roughly a dozen photos whenever my cell phone vibrated with a message. Whatever was in front of me, I went clickenzee. Afterwards, Kyle had to sift through a total 266 shots from 22 other photographers to pick out ones he wanted showcased on the site, which ended up being about 83. Honestly, I figured maybe one or two of mine would make the cut (Kyle was adamant that ALL the photographers would be represented). To my astonishment as I perused The Hive's portfolio, I discovered Kyle picked five of mine. Five. He thought 5 of my photos had the right composition and truly captured the Hive goal he was striving for. *soft squee*

To me, this was a big deal. Over the past year I have admired this man's work and his artistic opinion means quite a deal to me. Think of it this way: it would be equivalent to Neil Gaiman saying your short story was splendid and may he use it in his anthology?

Yeah. Like that. :)

If you wish to see the portfolio, feel free to visit the Hive site. My photos are the ones from Portland, OR.

When Kyle put out the call, I was hesitant and extremely doubtful. Did I have potential? Did I have the talent to pull this off? I've never done anything like this before and figured it was time to step out of my comfort zone and share with the world with what I see. Kyle has shown me I do have potential. I simply need to believe in myself.

I will forever be grateful.