Monday, October 22, 2012

Raven and Dragon: myth and magic at home

Long ago, near the beginning of the world, Gray Eagle was the guardian of the Sun, Moon and Stars, of fresh water, and of fire. Gray Eagle hated people so much that he kept these things hidden. People lived in darkness, without fire and without fresh water.
Gray Eagle had a beautiful daughter, and Raven fell in love with her. In the beginning, Raven was a snow-white bird, and as a such, he pleased Gray Eagle's daughter. She invited him to her father's longhouse.
When Raven saw the Sun, Moon and stars, and fresh water hanging on the sides of Eagle's lodge, he knew what he should do. He watched for his chance to seize them when no one was looking. He stole all of them, and a brand of fire also, and flew out of the longhouse through the smoke hole. As soon as Raven got outside he hung the Sun up in the sky. It made so much light that he was able to fly far out to an island in the middle of the ocean. When the Sun set, he fastened the Moon up in the sky and hung the stars around in different places. By this new light he kept on flying, carrying with him the fresh water and the brand of fire he had stolen...(link to the Wiki article "Cultural Depictions of Raven" to read the rest of the Raven's tale and the reason Raven is now coal black rather than snow-white. The Wiki link will also site photo credit for the exquisite Tlingit Raven art above.)
AN UPDATE TO THIS POST: This 2011 YouTube caught my attention as I came back to correct the spelling of "Tlingit" ... A project of language preservation, "Persuasive Raven" is a book to book for in the coming years.

Damp and cool partner today. I am sure this is our Pacific Northwest home. Home of Raven. The bowl of green grape tomatoes on our Quonset table ripen above the Radiant heater and when I sit to eat my lunch I reach for the yellow-peach fruit and say, "Yum this is good." Thankful to have the curved shelter and warm space I spent a little time between writing and connecting with an old pal crafting small pockets of warmth into the crevices in the Quonset. Wads of wool weren't enough to keep the damp and cool out. The journey of discovering how to turn a green house frame into a home has led Pete and me back and forth between time adapting skills learned very early on. A builder of bridges, a brick layer--a laborer; a seamstress, daughter of a mother who valued clothespins and safety pins and ironed other peoples' clothes for money we glean the essence of skills over time and adapt what we know. So the pockets of warmth are fashioned from a length of bubble foil insulation taped with Shur-tape two materials we have found useful in our reassembled lifestyle.

In the past few nights ago we watched a couple movies about women's work; one depicts an event in Women's History we'd not know of till we watched Made in Dagenham.Women machinist seamstresses who stitched together the car seats of the Ford Escort in the 1960's stage and carry off a successful strike. During the time of beehive hair dos and mini skirts which I remember first hand, the seamstresses shut down the old boys and laid the basis for equal pay for women in the UK, and beyond. The other was an older (1998)Meryl Streep film One True Thing . The plot of the film, an adaptation of Anna Quinlen's novel, is about a young woman (Ellen) at the rise of her journalistic career forced to return home to care for her mother. Her mother has cancer. From Wikipedia this excerpt of the film:

"As Ellen helps her mother with domestic chores while her father goes about his usual business without helping much, Ellen begins to reassess her views of her parents. She realizes she always brushed her mother aside and idealized her father...
The combined affect of both those movies played at the strings of my experience with the continuum of women's work, a continuum and a collage of roles lived. Not one position over time, but a series of roles and awareness pave the road to equal rights and equal pay is better appraised over a very long time. 

Our pods of living space lifestyle crisscrosses myth and magic everyday and in the process the standards for normalcy change one episode at a time. The bubble wrap insulation packets seal the corner of our Quonset. Vapor and cold stay outside and to add a pinch of luck and magic, I nod to Raven and Dragon and position stickers and stencils with their shapes where they're needed: on the front door, in the corner of fortune, over the holes in the clear, wavy plastic window-wall, in front of the push out window above the sink. Talismans, magic, company, protection. When we chatted this morning, my old pal and I, the conversation led to the place where Crones who are old friends can speak candidly about the angles we get now that we are aging. Changeable? Yes, we are capable of it, and though it embarrasses us to say it we know what a waste of energy it (has been) is to resist change when it's just the thing to do.

Unembarrassed I put dragon stickers on my windows and call on the mana of Mo'o ... "Be with us Goddess!"

Unembarrassed I tell stories about stones -- POHAKU, who birth their babies in a bowl. I water them, and care for them. They grow before my eyes.
 Unembarrassed I decide to choose my affiliations with more discernment; "No, I'll not tell my stories to this group, this person ... they don't deserve this medicine." Saturn in Scorpio is a two point five year stretch of cutting to the chase sooner than later. I take the clue, and apply the skill.
Unembarrased we make room for Raven, for his clan has surely made room for us.

While I opened and explored a way to gather my thoughts and awareness for myth and magic at home I knew Mo'o needed to be part of this piece. Maui Theatre in Lahaina continues a theatrical depiction of Hawaii's people that includes Mo'o.  Ulalena began it's early showing while Pete and I still lived on Maui. There on the stage of the Lahaina theatre was myth and magic at home. I recall watching the production in Lahaina, transfixed and can still hear the clapping of my hand as we participated in the making of rain part of the mythic and inseparable from the magic.

Unlike the other gods in our story, the Mo'o is not a single character; there were many Mo'o who were often worshiped as aumakua (ow-ma-koo-ah), family gods who were more approachable than the great gods and could warn, advise and assist a clan in time of trouble. - from the Ulalena website

Clapping my hands the rain falls and all time is made my present.

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