It has been a snowless January so far, but the cemetery looks frosty. In spite of it being so close, I hardly ever walk there. The pleasure of viewing the artistic and unusual headstones is usually ruined by the end of the walk. On the way out the church driveway, there is a "memorial to the unborn", reminding me that a large social and religious institution values potential life more than mine. One could say a lot about large social institutions these days, religious and political, but it gets tiring after awhile.
Several people on the street still have lights and Christmas decorations up, and I wish they would take them down. I don't think any of them celebrate Epiphany, I think they just haven't gotten around to it. They can't use cold weather as an excuse--save one or two days this week, the weather has been most reasonable.
This week I said goodbye to my cat, Whiskers. What started out as a simple eye infection ended with a cat who couldn't eat and had fluid in her lungs. I suspect, as the specialist said, that "much more was going on with this cat besides the eye". I opted to put her down rather than try to spend thousands on tests and hospital stays. In the end, it was likely they'd tell me she had incurable cancer anyway, and it would have just extended the cat's suffering. I think I was more floored that it cost more to cremate a cat at the emergency vet than it does a human being. I've dropped $3,000 in the last 6 weeks on 3 cats--a catalytic converter (apologies for the pun), Shiva cat, and Whiskers cat. They say things happen in threes, so let that be the last for awhile. Please.
The start of this year has fluctuated between being an emotional void and being sad, and besides the kitty event, I couldn't put my finger on why. I realize now that it's because a lot of things that previously satisfied or interested me have fallen flat, and I haven't found anything to take their place yet. It's interesting to view the cycle of boredom, which leads to point that is between a "death" (or just loss, if you prefer) and wanting things to go back to the way they were before. The cycle has to finish with something brand new. But there is an insecurity about the middle place, like you're stepping off a cliff into empty air, and you want to know that you can reach solid ground again, but your foot hasn't hit it yet. Of course, most of the things we attach ourselves to are temporal or unrealistic anyway, and the result is inevitable, until we stop doing that. But the question becomes--what else is there to do?
A crow is sitting very close to my front porch, and cawing into my window. Crows remind me of the Morrigan, the complex Celtic goddess who has many characteristics of the triple Moon goddess. A friend of mine mentioned a new interest in studying her the other day. I had been working on a story about the Morrigan a couple of years ago, but that stopped for a number of reasons. Perhaps these are synchronicities telling me to pick up that thread yet again. I did so much work on it, it may not be a bad idea.
I had also read somewhere, to my surprise, that in some versions of the myth, the Morrigan is the mother of the goddess Brigid. It provides an interesting metaphorical connection. My friend said to me the other day, "You know, they say you don't choose the Morrigan, she chooses you." Perhaps that is so.
Whatever happens, my January plan is to have a quiet, rather austere month. I will be presenting at the Mid-Atlantic American Academy of Religion conference in March, so my first priority is finishing my paper for that event. I also have many unfinished things at home, reminding me of the old expression, "When a fisherman can't go to sea, he repairs his nets." For all the time I've spent tying up loose ends this past year, it's amazing how many still remain.
In retrospect, I noticed that things in my life happen on the "9"s. I entered puberty at age 9, which led to huge psychological and physical changes. I had my first breast tumor and something akin to my life crashing around me--and me starting over--at 19. At 29, I left my husband, and began a new life. Now, at 39, I feel like something big is going to change again (and I had another breast tumor), but I don't know what yet exactly. Clearly when old structures break down, new ones must take their place. Of course, associations with the number 9 have been forever ruined by the likes of Herman Cain. (Well, maybe not forever. This year, anyway).
At any rate, thank you for indulging my musings--I hope to have more focused and topical blog posts going forward. They say that when you can't write what you want, write anything, and this may be an exercise in that. Here's hoping 2012 will be a productive and interesting writing year.