Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Taboos?

The break in the heat was deeply appreciated. I found myself concerned, however, that my prized fledgling plants were going to die from frost. As I worried over green things, I could feel him watching me. My plants wasn't my only worry but I wasn't sure how to approach the matter. I didn't want to displease him. I didn't want to disappoint or upset him. Nor did I want to break my word. At the same time, I was struggling to keep a very simple promise for reasons I simply couldn't help.

"Stop," he said as he walked up to me. I looked over. Ingvi shimmered. He had the glow of sunlight woven into his hair and the blue of summer skies in his eyes. Those eyes held a suggestion of a storm coming. That was when I realized he knew what I was contemplating. "How many times have you told others that taboos are for their own good, that we don't need humanity to do rituals for our well being?" he stated sternly. I sighed. "Is having your hair long doing you good now?" he asked in a slightly less severe tone.

"It's becoming a problem, to be honest," I answered with some timidity as I looked away. "The thinning hair isn't as much of a problem as the eczema stuff and I am having hair fall out now and ..." I mumbled as I looked down. I felt terribly small and unsure. I hated feeling this way.

"You are a lion of a woman," he said, setting his hands on my shoulders. He ran a thumb over where I had fractured my shoulder blade when I fell on the snow shovel. "Though she be small, she is feisty," he quipped and I glanced over to see a fond smile. "It was to prevent you from acting on self destructive urges, dear." I started to look away when he touched my cheek. "If it is necessary, cut your hair. The taboo was never about your hair. You just didn't understand. Now, you must care for your skin. Your self care is necessary and you deserve to be cared for. It is time for you to do this now."

"I don't even know how short I should go. Apart of me says cut it really short. Another part of me says I shouldn't do it at all," I quavered, suddenly finding myself feeling extremely upset, "I don't even know what I'm doing."

"All will be well. It is hair. It will grow back."

"What if it is like my leg and it doesn't?"

"You still have your pretty scarves and veils. You delight in them. This will make it easier to do so. And less headaches. And less itching on your ears."

"I feel like I'm going to look ugly."

He sighed and kissed the crown of my head. "You could never be ugly. No matter what happens to you, scars, tears, shorn hair, or anything else you can think of. You could never be ugly. Not even those toes you feel so self conscious about. You're beautiful, right down to the toes."

I teared up. My heart ached. I don't know why it was so upsetting for him or anyone else to say such genuine loving things. "All will be well," he soothed. I took a breath and mentally recited the ancient prayer to myself. As I did so he held me tenderly. "And the roses will be fine. Though they may need a bit of a trim. You should repot them soon. I think they're starting to get rootbound."

"Ok, I'll try to do that this week."

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Shield up, or not?

I kicked the padded pole standing up out of the ground as hard as I could. I kicked again and again. "You're going to injure yourself doing that," he said, "Strike with the toe instead of the top of your foot, if you must."

"I don't care," I grunted, "I'm sick of being like this. This is the only place I can get it out like this."

He walked over and leaned against the pole, pointedly in my way. "Move... please," I said tersely, getting ready to kick the striking post again. He crossed his arms over his chest.

"Throw your anger in the direction of the cause of it, not in self battery," he advised.

"I can't. I have no place there. It will likely cause more problems."

"Hmm," he mused, "You're afraid and angry. What are you afraid of?"

"You already know. The same things as every time this comes up."

"You know who you should talk to about this post traumatic stuff," Loki said.

"My therapist?"

He chuckled. "The all father?" I was uncomfortable with that one. Loki shook his head.

"Ingvi," he answered.

"He's busy now."

"You are so quick to find reasons not to talk about this. I watched it unfold. I watched what happened. It was horrific. Your memories are all real. You know the false ones because the sound exactly like the stories your mother told you. Not talking is what is making you sick. I know what I'm talking about here."

I looked away. "Stoic is not the same as what you're doing. What you're doing is bottling it up and trying to shove the dragur back into the barrow. It's just going to come out again, we all know that. Even it knows that. Why not beat it into submission and true death?"

"Words are poor weapons against the dead."

"Are they?" he said. I sighed.

"I just want to stop being sick. I want to just go about my day with out this illness in my face all the time."

"I can not change that. It is fixed wyrd. What is behind you can not be changed. You know that. What is ahead of you is more mutable. Or do you plan on spending the next fourty years afraid? Spending them feeling like you're ugly because you don't look like the perfect 20 year old? Or do you want to really live? Your freedom is so close to you. You just need to grasp it. That's all that is necessary."

"How on Earth do I grasp that? It's like trying to grab hold of smoke."

He smiles. It is a fond smile, not the smirk of amusement that I usually see there. "You are so confused but you're trying. You keep going in circles. You need a dance partner. Luckily, you have three." I shake my head. "Listen to the simple song that is playing. All the rest falls into place when you recognize it."

Thursday, May 24, 2018

This is War.

"Catch."

One word, that was all he said. Then a foam tipped arrow came flying at me out of the shadows. I dodged to the side, throwing my arms up in surprise.

"No. Catch." He said again and I heard the bowstring thrum like a deep harp note. This time the foam tipped arrow struck the back of my left knee and I fell. I hit the ground and could almost hear him shake his head. In a dry, sardonic tone he said, "Not like that. Get up and catch this one."

I stood up, annoyed that my knee gave out. Not thinking of anything, just feeling frustrated, I felt a subtle shift in the room. I leaned back on some instinct and something whistled past me to land off elsewhere with a muted clatter. "Better." That same instinct pushed me to move again. I leaned forward and grasped at what should have been empty air and caught an arrow shaft. Again, I shifted into a different direction and caught a second before that instinct had me drop down low and the third arrow flew over me.

"Now, what have we learned?" he asked me.

"I'm not focused on the present enough?" I answered and he scoffed in the shadows. "Must you skulk right now?" I sighed. The bow thrummed and I brought the pair of arrows up to guard my head, batting away the arrow. "I'm ignoring my instincts in favor of anxiety?" I tried. Another foam arrow came at me, flying just over my head. "Damn it, this isn't funny," I said.

"No, it's not," he answered, "It is deadly serious. Especially here, within the theatre of your mind."

"Then what is it I am supposed to be focused on? What I'm feeling? Because right now, I'm feeling pretty pissed off." There was a bark of humorless laughter. "What's so funny?"

"You. You are. You switched and didn't realize it. The shift wasn't in the room. It was in you. You changed the stage."

I shook my head. This was impossible. "Am I or am I not the god of the impossible? Am I not the paradox? The bound god who walks free?" I looked in the direction of his voice somewhere between suspicion and despair. "You don't understand. That's fine. We'll repeat the lesson. Now, catch."

At his words anger flared up in me. The bowstring sounded a high pitch, of greater tension. It didn't matter. I grabbed the arrow out of the air, broke it across my knee and threw it on the ground towards where I estimated his feet. "Again," he said harshly. The bowstring rang out its note. Moments before, I threw my right arm up, palm facing him and raised a wall of stone.  A steel arrowhead glinted before my face.

"Now, what have we learned?" he asked, walking around to my right side.

"That I'm powerful in my own self. That when I get angry I stop being scared. Or should I just return fire?"

He laughed. I picked up one of the foam tipped arrows and glared at it until its form twisted and shrank into a red hot dart. I flung it into the ground near his feet, illuminating him and the long bow in his hand. A blunted foam arrow was notched. "I found you," I said, "This game is done." He laughed harder, putting aside his weapon.

"No matter how angry you are, you do not give into the temptation to hurt the ones you love. You honestly have no idea of your own strength. You have no utter idea. Not even now, within yourself, do you see it. You have blunted my weapons with but a glare and returned my ... love gift with one of your own cast at mine own feet." He shook his head.

"If only I could cure your blindness. Not even Baldur is blind like this," he sighed. He stooped and picked up the iron dart. "You would be unstoppable if you could truly see yourself," he sighed again. I scoffed.

"You were once blind, fully blind like this," he said, "And yet you knit a scarf and crochet a basket. You continued to cook and care for your home. Now, you're angry and have a headache. Don't you see how powerful of a change this is?"

"I did what needed to be done."

"Yes and no one else could do it. No one, not even me or Odin with his magic. All because you got angry. Don't fear your anger when you have this much power in it."

I looked away. He took my left hand and turned it so the palm was up. Carefully, he laid the cold iron dart in my hand and gently wrapped my fingers around it. "I have faith in you," he said, "Not too many others will cast a warning shot at a deity, especially me."

"Loki," I said quietly when he put his fingertips on my lips.

"Use your anger. Forge the world to your will, dream-walker. You are not powerless in any form. Just ... more limited power in different forms."

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Scenes removed?

Due to the shifting nature of this blog, I will be moving content into archives elsewhere. I am considering publishing some erotica ebooks. I will post if anything happens like that.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Riptide (pt. 2)

I was sitting with my back against his side. My feet were up on the arm of the couch and the blanket thrown over my legs. With the fire and his warmth at my back, I was comfortable. At the same time, something deep inside me was roiling with unease. "I keep having this nightmare that I'm laying in a pool of water. And the tide is coming in. I keep dreaming that I'm going to drown." His arm came down from the back of the couch to wrap around me, drawing me closer to him. He kissed my head.

"You're not going into Aegir's realm any time soon," he said softly, "You're too sensible and stay on dry land."

"You know that's not what I am dreaming about," I replied, unable to keep the annoyance out of my tone."

"You have a point in telling me about this nightmare you have been having since you were sixteen. A nightmare we have discussed already, what is it?" I sighed. I looked up at the heavy beams of the ceiling and the joists that supported the loft. "You're afraid ... of me?" I shook my head. "Yourself?"

I dropped my eyes to look at my feet. "You're not going crazy." He said. "You're not a danger to anyone. Except for yourself. You keep hurting yourself. Bottling up all this anxiety and pain. You're drinking the poison instead of just pouring it out. If you can't talk to me, who can you?"

"You don't understand..." I started and he went very still.

"You are not alone, don't you see that?" he said, his tone mild but I could hear the irritation beneath it. "We keep telling you to turn to us. And you say that you can't let us help you because the burden is unfair. Well, you realize that you are right. You don't understand why you are right."

I could feel myself starting to shut down and I ground my teeth trying not to let the reflex of stepping out of myself during anything remotely like a conflict happen. His right hand opened and landed on my stomach with a soft thump. There was a sensation like I was being pulled down into the earth and then everything became very clear and focused. "That is why you are right," he said in my ear, "It isn't fair to you to expect you to hold a lifetime of pain inside. This is why you feel like you're drowning. You're exhausted from treading water and refusing to take the hand offered to lift you out of the water. Do you want to be struggling like this all the time?"

I meekly answered, "No."

"I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you over the timidness in your voice."

"I said no. I don't want to be struggling all the time."

"Then stop and let somebody help you. Haven't you learned anything over the last three months?"

"I can't do this. I can't just give up."

"It's not giving up. It is a tactical redirection. And hiding behind a shieldwall as you catch your breath and ready your weapons for your next attack. If you keep running out in front, you're going to catch arrows. And the crash is going to happen. So, take the parachute, jump tandem because you're afraid of heights, and trust us. Or you're just going to get kicked out of the airplane and caught, carried down, and develop a greater list of things you feel you are not allowed to do."

"No sense jumping out of a perfectly good airplane."

"This one is crashing, it's not good anymore. Jump."

I groaned in frustration. "Do you trust me?" he asked. "Do you truly trust me?"

"Yes."

"Then let go all of this damn control and feel. You want to exercise control, fine. Put it into things like writing, exercise, and getting healthy. Use your iron will to resist unhealthy sweets and being inactive. Be precise in your words. Do your embroidery. Keep complete notes on all of your spinning projects and your knitting and crochet. Stop trying to control how you feel, when you feel it, or how you think you should be responding to things. It's slowly killing you."

"The ones inside me... it's chaos. I can't let them ALL out. I can't do it. It's not safe."

"Some of them are not as safe as others. But you are not a dangerous person. You are a heroic woman who puts her own well being at risk for the sake of other's health on a regular basis. You are the opposite of that woman. All of the others, they are reflections of you. They are all based in your goodness and kindness, even the cruelest of them. Somewhere, within that hurtful aspect, there is a seed of kindness and goodness."

I closed my eyes. "Do you want to grow, my flower?" I looked over my shoulder and gave him an awkward, lopsided smile. "Yes?" I nodded. "Then let the seed coat break and grow. You'll become healthier for it. And happier."

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Riptide. (pt 1)

It started playing and he laughed. I shrugged and stared at the computer screen trying to figure out ... everything? What the hell I was going to write? What the hell I was or was it who the hell I was? I just was confused. I felt like I was caught in heavy current and being pulled away from dry land. I guess those are called riptides. Those places where the water looks dead calm but there's a fast current pulling everything out into the deep water.

He placed a hand on my back. It was over a scar from when I was an infant. I hated those scars after day one of being teased for them. Here I am thirty eight and a half years later, you can't see them so well but I'm always aware of them. It's part of the reason why I wear shirts that cover up my abdomen and I don't go barefoot. He tells me I'm beautiful because of those scars. It's hard to hear that.

I sigh. A part of me says I should just give up on writing today. He gently reminds me that a retreat is not always a sign of defeat. It is strategy when taken calmly with a plan to re-engage the opponent later. I mutter something about how the war never ends. His chuckle is filled with rueful knowledge of exactly what I was calling a war.

"Victory will come in its time." I shook my head. "Giving up is how you lose. Keep fighting. You're making headway, you just can't see it."

"A part of me really wants to fight you on this and then consider make up sex," I said tiredly. He chuckled. I looked over at him. His hair was this combination of copper and golden hay that wasn't the pink of rose gold but it was neither. It was as if a red haired person could go partly blond in the way a person with dark hair could. It was confusing. I focused on that confusion for a moment because it was more comfortable than continuing the discussion.

"We don't have to talk about it now, sweetling," he said. I frowned slightly at his use of my other beloved deity's pet name for me. He laughed. It was a joyful sound of pure amusement. I couldn't help but smile. Then I laughed as I realized he did it just to get that look of mild annoyance and make me laugh.

"I need to get the words out but I don't know how," I said after the moment had passed and the darkness was closing in on me again as I sat beside someone who was pure summer sunlight in an almost human looking form. If I looked out the corner of my eye at him, he shimmered in the way sunlight hit the forest floor or how it danced on the lake in summer. It was a quality that slipped away as I turned my gaze directly on him, as though he was carefully putting something behind his back. At one point, I'd have been upset by this. After our last conversation, I realized it was for my own good.

"You see more than most do," he said, reaching up to gently rub my aching shoulders, "It's hard to communicate because of it. You feel more than most do. You do your damnedest to not feel it, but you do. It's why that conversation the other day was so hard for you. Because you can't run forever. Not from yourself and what you are."

I felt like the conversation was about to go over that familiar ground again. Instead of feeling ready for a fight, I just felt tired. Like I wasn't even able to communicate with a deity that could look into my very soul what I was struggling with.

"There is a reason why you should be writing. There is a reason why you should be making art. That coloring book was no pure coincidence. Consider it a cane to help you relearn how to walk after breaking your leg. Consider it like the morning pages, a creative rehabilitation process. You've been injured and now you are healing. Part of the healing process is building up strength. You're not caught in a riptide, darling. You are in a very safe place, with someone to lift you out of the water when you become weary and bear you to safety. But you must swim to regain your strength. And, if you're tired, get out of the water and sleep."

He gave me a pointed look and then at the computer. "Sleep," I sighed.

"Yes, sleep, dear heart."

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Storm breaker.

I walked into the cabin just before the snow started to really fall. He looked over from where he knelt feeding the fire. His hair was a tangled fall of wheat-gold silk that gleamed in the red light. I saw a smile there I hadn't seen in weeks. It was fond and gentle. I wasn't sure what to do with myself. "It's fitting that the blizzard starts when you arrive, my storm cloud," he said. Uncomfortable with his jest, I scoffed at being called 'storm cloud.' He brushed the dust off his jeans and stood. As I leaned back against the door, I could hear the wind's moans growing into an eerie howling.

"Buffalo plaid has a bad history," I said. He shrugged.

"Everything has a bad history, even I," was his answer. I sighed. "You are so angry but you don't know what to do with it. Pouring it out on paper helps you, but you are afraid to do it. Do you know how hard it is to hold back a storm?"

He picked up a couple of mugs off of the table and walked to the couch. He handed me one. I took a sip and found tea that had gone long cold. He had been waiting here for a while. "How do you do this?" I said, "Be here and be elsewhere at the same time." He gave a half smile and shrugged.

"How do you hold two thoughts in your mind at the same time?" he said.

"Rapid switching," I answered. He chuckled.

"Stop holding back the storm. It's exhausting. You're living in a human body. Let it out. If you can't say it, write it and then burn it. Fire and ice are your playthings, after all."

"It hurts."

"As does cleaning out an infection, if you remember. At least you don't have them waking you in the dead of night and holding you down to do so."

I shuddered at the memory of the curette against my bone as they scraped out the staph infection in my right leg. Even with pain killers it was agony. Traumatizing is a mild way to describe the effect that experience had upon my ten year old mind. My skin crawled and suddenly the cream colored tea looked too much like what they cleaned out of my leg day after day for a week. He reached over and picked up the mug out of my hands.

"You're not listening, where are you right now?"

"Home. With you." He shakes his head.

"No, you're back in the hospital. You're here. And you're there. Why can't you focus? Because you're split into three pieces in this moment. They're all struggling in different directions. Why do choices scare you? The hospital. That is why they scare you. They made you choose which nurse did the procedure that evening. You were never sure who it was because it was dark in that room to you, though they could see clearly. Your fear of hospitals starts there. It is a reasonable fear, especially after the death of your great aunt at that hospital a bare year later."

I looked away and closed my eyes. "This is one of your small fears, but you have never let it out. Let it out of you. Don't let me narrate it. Tell your own story," he said as he put his hand on my shoulder. "Didn't it ever occur to you that perhaps you are the storm breaker and it is because of the storm inside you? All of those memories put this weather to shame. And you can hear the wind screaming now, can't you?"

I nodded, feeling like I was going to start crying. "A hurricane needs rain," he said, "As does every thunderstorm and gentle downpour. And snow is but frozen rain from higher in the sky. Tears are not shame. They're rain. The earth is parched, my love. Quench the thirst."

"I can't cry on command," I said bitterly.

"I never said you should. Only that you should let yourself cry, bleed even as your wound is debrided."