Seven years of blogging here. This surprised me! The start of my blogging life began when Pete and I imagined and then took the literal journey of creating a tiny home on wheels in 2008. Many new discoveries made life different when we began building Vardo For Two. But it was the creation and birthing of my second blog, this one, Makua o'o that has sustained the fire of creativity and writing via the blog. From these pages I have grown deep and unusual roots; and reached into the mythic world to create medicine stories that are a hybrid of memoir and applied wish-making for a world I'd love to live in.
Gift-giving as a Birthday Tradition
While I have kept Makua o'o alive with my musings and muddlings, three bloggers and their sites have been my steady backup and source of light. People across the Earth have a tradition of giving gifts rather than receiving them on their birthday. I'd like to thank my personal Backup Band of Bloggers; and acknowledge them here while including a small piece of each blogger's recent gifts of hope, insight, astrological navigation, and creative mojo boost:
ElsaElsa ... The internet's First Astrology Blog Ever (used to be her tag)
I discovered ElsaElsa in the early days of trying to make sense of a very different kind of life while we lived in a kitchen and built a Gypsy wagon as home. Through Elsa's constant storytelling, astrology and commitment to building a community (through her blog, forum, regular free newsletter, consulting services, periodic online workshops, and affordable astrology reports) Elsa Panizzon and satori (Lara Satori Harris) have established themselves as solid mentors for thousands of people worldwide.
This is an excerpt from Elsa's January 6, 2016 Newsletter (Free Subscription) today
"The Sun conjuncts Pluto in Capricorn...
How are you going to live?
What are your rules?
Where are your lines? (Saturn)
If your creativity is blocked (most likely by fear), how are you going to transform the situation?
The need for structure is further emphasized by the Moon, Venus, Saturn conjunction in Sagittarius.
The whole sky begs you act like an adult, control your emotions like an adult, do right by others, like an adult!
The message in this newsletter speaks right to me. I can apply those questions to my life. I emailed Elsa earlier today to thank her for the insight and questions to stimulate a positive use of the energy she described. Over time I have donated a small monthly thank-you to show my appreciation. Unexpected expenses make it difficult for me to do that right now. I wrote to assure her she's always on my list of gratitudes, and soon there would be a few dollars coming her way.
This 'virtual world' thing can be a true support when a blogger or site author translates the give-and-take of face to face communication as real as ... the velveteen rabbit, or a kind and quirky neighbor you enjoy sharing your morning tea with.
Thank you Elsa and Satori for the years of growing a community of generosity, humor and astrology applied to real life. You are a real force for me and Pete!
Myth and Moor
Writer, artist and book editor Terri Windling authors the blog Myth and Moor. Every morning I start my day with a cup of tea (Wild Forest Black my current fav) and Myth and Moor. I was originally steered to this blog because I was reading and following the parallel journey of Devon neighbor artist and puppeteer, Rima Staines. My loyalty to Terri Windling's generous posts about writing, creativity, chasing the muse, and building creative community has fed my writing life with magic. For this I am deeply appreciative. Magic and mythic entanglements have been my immune system's finest remedies and from them I find hope.
The topic of gifts: giving and receiving them is current at Myth and Moor. An archive post appears on a recent post "Gracious Acceptance". It is a classic example of Terri Windling's posts which begin with a bit of personal substance followed by one after another example and excerpts to incite the creative spark. Here are the opening lines to Windling's post:
"To continue the discussion on gift-exchange....The other side of the coin from the art of gift-giving is the less heralded art of gift-receiving -- and to live a balanced, creatively fecund life we must learn to practice both with equal skill. But as Alexander McCall Smith points out (in Love Over Scotland), the act that he calls gracious acceptance is "an art which most never bother to cultivate. We think that we have to learn how to give, but we forget about accepting things, which can be much harder than giving."Thank you so much dear gracious and generous Terri. My writing is regularly made better because of the substance of your posts, and the open-hand with which you encourage writers and artists to be involved in on-line conversation. I feel regularly blessed as I see you with your dear Hound, Tilly and am humbled as your health rises and falls, as does mine. And we continue being the artists who create art, and live a real life. A candle for you burns in my woods, on this birthday time.
"Until we can receive with an open heart," notes psychologist Brené Brown astutely, "we're never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help."
When life became very different for Pete and me, it was the symptoms and unraveled sets of Once Dependables that spun us into a long term tail spin. Diagnosis of the illness was just the start of rewiring life. It was Julie Genser and her website Planet Thrive that came us a lifeline and a forum of connectivity at a key junction of time.
"Surviving and thriving with environmental illness" is the header description that greets a reader, lurker, community member on Planet Thrive. Since 2009 Julie Genser and the network of support she created and manages has been an incubator, wet suit, and light house for me and Pete as life with environmental illness remolded us.
Over time my visits to Planet Thrive has been less frequent, but I check back regularly to post an update; comment to a reader new to life with environmental illness; and discover something new. Environmental illness, or MCS is a morphing changeable condition. Body, brain-mind, spirit and soul are interwoven as symptoms change as I do.
Julie is also a fan and supporter of astrologer Eric Francis' work and posts Francis' monthly Sun Sign Astrology "Planet Waves." I'm a regular follower of this feature, and tell Julie regularly "Thanks for this!"
Environmental illness is not a 'popular' illness, not to say any illness is. But, the truth is Environmental illness isn't popular because you can't always be insured for the treatment of any or all or a cluster of symptoms, and it is not uncommon for many of us to be among the other unpopular segment of contemporary society: the homeless. Planet Thrive has been for me and Pete, as well as for hundreds of others in similar circumstances, a refuge and a community of hope.
Many thanks and wishes for your good health and well-being Julie!
And last, but not least. Mahalo plenty to the readers who have come to Makua o'o over the past seven years. My loyal readers you know who you are, thanks a million for your email, interesting behind the scenes conversation, and tidbits of life which inevitably find their way into a blog post here, or somewhere in a medicine story.