Gail Williams (gail) Wed 14 Jul 04 10:48
Something about that quote. With respect for Nurp, and for Luisah Teish too, for that matter, when I read: "Once I did an opera for the rain forest, and a little girl points at me and asks her mother, 'Is that Mother Earth?' For her I was the planet. I get chills when I think of it!" I immediately thought of anyone performing in a pageant or show. It's great when a kid asks if you are Alice in Wonderland, Santa Claus or the Wizard of Oz, too. Total chills. Possibly vanity, but wow it's good. It just doesn't mean that the kid doesn't get that you are performing -- playing a symbolic role the kid knows she could play too. Kids are smart. So, Francesca, do you think of your work in a political context? Do you consider how your interior life reads to those who will assume right off the bat that you are their enemy? Is there any responsibility or concern around people who come back with harsh criticism, or is that their problem?
(rosebud) Wed 14 Jul 04 10:58
>> flabby fart king He not only needs a blue book, but obviously a dose of Bean-o.
Rip Van Winkle (keta) Wed 14 Jul 04 16:52
OK, it's been 6 hours, and I still can't reread >I read what Nurp wrote and I was trying to envision a henpecked flabby fart king reading a pink book. and >I think your book is easier to read if you don't clench it. without laughing. Er, welcome Nurp. And welcome Kerridwen. Ive made it most of the way through one of Francescas previous books, and yes, in both seriousness and humor, the message that comes through is No need to wait, yall already got it. Thats probably what prompted me to mention that Tiesh quote in the first place. (Do what you can. Use what you have. Begin where you are.) In light of the juxtaposition of your post with Nurp's, I realise something: There is the naming the goddess that you are - the power in that - and then there is OTHERS naming the goddess that they THINK you are. I wonder how much grief in the world is caused by cases of mistaken goddess identity. Kerridwen is doing her job, accessing her power through the idea of the Goddess She Who Finds and Fixes, and maybe one person interacting with her is looking at her as She Who Finds and Fixes, another is seeing perhaps a Sex Goddess, another a Mother, another a potential shoe wiper. Whoa. Now, Nurp, I wonder if your wife did see herself as a goddess if she would hen-peck you less? The compliment of goddess is not Flabby Fart King, it's god. Perhaps the God of Voluptuous Flesh And Earthy Rumbles Below.
Rip Van Winkle (keta) Thu 15 Jul 04 00:33
Gail, your question to Francesca, referring to "those who will assume right off the bat that you are their enemy," reminds me of something I heard Catherine Austin Fitts (www.solari.com) point out after the 2000 election. Here was the nation, divided almost precisely 50-50, and by what? She listed all the issues where the two parties had differentiated themselves. What was the thing all the issues had in common? Not a single one had anything to do with money. The electorate had been effectively polarized (paralyzed?) in such a fashion that nobody was paying any attention to the money. All sorts of aspects of human variety, that ought to be responded to with "Vive le difference!" or, "Let's discuss this," had become grounds for rushing from eye-rolling to polemics, to knock-down-dragouts, and hey, why not pogroms? While the bandits made off with the store. Nurp, it seems to me that the "potent moral corrosive" being used as a "weapon of imperial subjection to sap the resistance of indigenous cultures and peoples everywhere" is not goddess-discussers, or goddess-dismissers, or pseudo-indigeneity, it's divide-and-conquer. It's fanning the assumption that different=enemy. When I commented: >These modern goddesses aren't liberal or conservative, rich or poor, religious or not. It's fun to see goddesses everywhere, not defined or separated by divisions we commonly cultivate or assume. way back at the beginning of the interview, that was after spending an afternoon cultivating skepticism - let's see what this book looks like if I assume the idea of goddesses is really 'out there', but I go around and try to look for them anyway. And the result was an almost magical healing of those "defining" splits. It was similar to riding BART after the '89 earthquake, when the Bay Bridge was down - Joes with toolboxes next to society matrons next to... Magic, hmmm... now that could be the issue here. Is magic real? Francesca? (gotta put a question or two in here somewhere) The reason I ask is that it occurs to me that what Nurp may be objecting to is people *pretending* magic is real, and if that's the case, perhaps I agree. I remember one time sitting with a friend who was casually discussing how his family regularly communicated by telepathy. Mom just showed up when needed. People independently set out to meet each other in remote cities. I was listening, and all of a sudden it struck me, "I've been working so hard to PRETEND that magic is real - when all the while it IS real." Here's a better phrasing of the question, "What's the difference between magical thinking and real magic? Between 'fairy tales' we let ourselves be told, believe, (by Disney or the World Bank or Monsanto or each other), and Real Fairy Tales? Last week when I was only able to get on for 15 minutes a day, I was off at a Family Camp. 300 folks in a little village in the woods, with a staff of maybe 40 more, in their teens and 20s except two directors. Kind of looked like a Survivor casting call. When my group got there, there were lots of problems and confusions and difficulties to work out - all related to a computer error (yes, THAT computer!) that had caused haphazard overbookings. But you know what there wasn't. Nobody was Voted Off The Island. It all worked out. Deals were made, sure, but they were folks sharing, staff housing being opened up, hops and moves, and, "no, that's fine, after you." It was the magic of reality, not the manufactured myth of survival of the fittest.
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Thu 15 Jul 04 08:19
Thanks for support, yall. Whew. Gail, great questions. Answers: I think BREATHING is political. Refusing to die is a political act for some people. Im not Politically Correct. P.C is not radical enough for anarchist me. It is classist and racist half the time. Anyone who assumes Im the enemy off the bat will hate whatever I say. I try really really hard to make it clear to them anyway b/c thats my job as a human being. As for criticism, Im all for it. But not attack. Criticism helps me change. Attack makes me cower or get defensive, which in turn makes it hard for me to change. Keta, I love your brain. Hmm, mistaken Goddess identity. Cool. Add mistakes about what Goddess means EG a being who dominates rather than a being who uplifts. Keta, re divide and conquer, is magic real: there is no doubt in my mind that magic is real, as real as a knife or a kiss. And I mean wave your magic wand, poof, type of magic. I also think that one of the few ways to get in touch with magic is TO pretend it is real. Each of us is the magical cauldron, the magic wand, the altar. And modern books on magic tend to leave imagination out as if magic were just a metaphor for feminism or psychological states. Fairy tales touch the part of our being that understand that very realness of magic. Think magically and you tune into the possibility that magic is happening right now, in every fiber of your being and all you have to do is learn how to use it! And I think that though I just now yaysayed something by using all the words Keta did to naysay that same something, we likely think the same thing, but we just used all the words differently.
from NURP NIZZUM (tnf) Thu 15 Jul 04 16:30
Nurp's response to Gail WIlliams Yes, there are the chills associated with the "thrills and chills" of receiving a real audience's response to any kind of make-believe performance, including Nurp Nizzum's maliciously rambunctous rant. No doubt, chills of this order, be they sweet or be they bitter, are all utterly delicious vanity at root. But in the context of the biographical blurb in which they are represented, the chills of which Luisah Teish speaks seem of a very different sort, arising from a kind of at least doubled moral horror. Hers seem the chills of a shocked, perhaps ever-reawakening to the awe-full, personal responsibility that comes, invited or no, with effectively BEING Mother Earth, BEING the planet for so many children and adults so thoroughly "detached from their bodies and spirit" as to have no other conscious access to Mother Earth, to their own being as part of the planet, than through her own inevitably humbled words and performances...even in the midst of the playful whimsy of an opera for the rainforest. Yes, kids are smart in the midst of play. But our fate, which is also theirs, is to need be so much more.
from KERRIDWEN (tnf) Thu 15 Jul 04 16:31
KERRIDWEN writes: Hi again! As to working through the books, I also see a secular therapist. Most people who have lived through the abuses (incest, molestation, parents are both alcoholics, my past drug/ alcohol abuse, etc.) are going to need help in any way they can find! : ) Iím glad I have so many different forms of support. On the flipside of my upbringing (ahem, moved out at 15), I really have no need up ìscaring upî folk traditions. My fatherís family is Irish. They (grandmother) moved in the late 1800ís to an area called the Irish Wilderness. Itís in Missouri. They had no electric, no running water, no modern conveniences until the late 1960's. They cooked on a woodstove, farmed, and hunted even after electric was brought there-who wants to wire a house? I was raised on a modern family farm. Hungry? I can go kill something, dress it out, and cook it for you. Before killing it, Iíll give thanks to the animalís spirit and once killed, assist it on. While Iím preparing the food, Iíll work what you most need (putting it ìinî the food). My motherís side were Russian Jews. They came over around Civil War time. They lived with the freed blacks (where Jews ìbelongedî then). My great-grandmother was a Healer and people came to her. She read your tea leaves and my aunt will read your cards-I can too. I was *raised* with folk traditions from the Irish and the Jewish/ Kabbalah. Iím the daughter of an Ozark Hillbilly and proud! I donít mind at all if someone comes along and spreads how I was taught-itís better than adults not knowing that cheese is from milk, milk is from cows, and cows need to be watched for pink eye (what? I know...). This August Eve, my daddyíll go out and cut down the corn. If you ask him why, heíll say, ìItís how itís done.î I wish more people did it. And yes, heíll leave a few stalks up ìfor Them.î What harm in honoring all the things we receive and create? False senses of power: that never helped anyone, now did it? Real power: true knowledge of the things one can do; we all need love but ainít nothiní gonna fix you but you. Choices: 1) be afraid of what someone else might do to you THEN run out and holler down anybody or 2) look inside at your fears and find what caused them. Is it something that happened years ago thatís still echoing in your head? Is it something you never even experienced but were told was ìgoing to happen if?" THEN look for the things you can do for yourself. I know thereís something. Change it. Iím always sad for people who are so afraid. I think thatís why I like laughter so much! Despite my moniker, Iím seen as the gal whoís ìeasily amused. And I like that! I also like the Protective Mother Cerridwen that I can be. We can be anyone we want to be. The book can help us see who we are and who we might like to be more of. Did I mention itís fun? Blessings Kerridwen
Rip Van Winkle (keta) Thu 15 Jul 04 17:20
ack! your host is now torn three ways... this is the time when I'm supposed to casually mention that we've been at it this for two weeks now, and the Inkwell spotlight will be moving on...and thank our guest...and encourage everyone to stay on and talk awhile amongst themselves...while making wrapping up noises and tucking away loose ends... but, damn, this is getting good - and I have so much to say, and I'll bet Francesca does too... but I'm supposed to go out and see Farenheit 911 tonight... ...what's a god to do!? Well, I'll start with #1 and remind all you readers that if you have anything you're burning to ask, now's the time to do it. Remember, if you want to know, probably somebody else does too. (NOTE: Offsite readers can email <firstname.lastname@example.org> with your comments or questions) Now, off to the movies...
David Gans (tnf) Thu 15 Jul 04 18:01
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Thu 15 Jul 04 18:28
Absolutely! The topic will remain open for conversation indefinitely, so please feel free to continue.
(rosebud) Thu 15 Jul 04 19:37
Yay! I have enjoyed reading this topic. In fact, if it had to end I was going to suggest that we needed a goddess conference.
Rip Van Winkle (keta) Fri 16 Jul 04 08:49
Let's see how many more visits Francesca is willing to do.
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Fri 16 Jul 04 10:07
Luisah Teishs awesome example has inspired me for many years. If any of you dont know her books, check them out. K, loved what you said re folk culture and growing up. Exactly! This topic has been so amazing for me. Thank you everyone! (That includes you lurkers who joined in silently. Thank YOU for cradling the space with your presence.) Dave always blows me away. And Ks recent comment, well, I am always happy that so many of us reach similar conclusions. We need to see our hard won realizations mirrored by other peoples. I wish I could stay on since youre keeping the topic going. However, Computer use is not for me. I am doing these two weeks despite doctors opinion. (Bad patients live longer.) Body weak, spirit strong. Thank you all--this is not rhetoric--for keeping that spirit strong with this fabulous conversation. You are Gods and Goddesses all! Have a great time with the topic. Anyone who posted (except Fart King) or visited, stay in touch. I mean that. And if you are on my emailing list, please post my e-newsletters here. It is no subsitute for me getting to read your posts, but it will at least make me feel I am contributing a little something. Speaking of which: http://www.well.com/user/zthirdrd/WiccanMiscellany.html is my site, which has among other things, articles and rituals. http://www.well.com/user/zthirdrd/InfoForm.htm gets you on my emailing list if you want my newsletters, and announcement of new books and classes. However, after the newsletter that will go out in a day or so, I wont do any mailings for six months. In a few weeks, I am stopping work and going into a major healing period until February. (Sigh, I live for my work. But I have to do this-->) For those six months, its healer heal thyself time. I am moving to Pennsylvania to lay on the forest ground and pray, Mother, do something with me. I need your help. When the snow comes, I am going to climb under my comforter and sleep, and sleep--the way folks in the farming community to which I am moving have told me they do all winter. I am already housebound--for two and a half years now, because of my health--so a housebound winter is not intimidating to me. (I do get out for walks. They are part of my physical therapy.) And I grew up in snowy country. When spring comes, I will walk down the hill by my new home, past the seed farm, and onto the Ernst Trail. I wonder what will be there.
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Fri 16 Jul 04 10:45
Francesca, thank you so much for joining us, it's been a pleasure. And thanks to you too, Dave, for so ably leading the conversation. This topic will remain open indefinitely, so even if Francesca has to bow out to rest her wrists, others are welcome to continue talking as long as you like.
Rip Van Winkle (keta) Fri 15 Apr 11 21:02
Was just speaking to Francesca recently and I thought WELL folks might be interested in an update. She did move from San Francisco to rural Pennsylvania. Her health problems continue, but she's published two books, is finishing another, did a spoken word album, paints, blogs and teaches. Most of her teaching now is by telephone conference call. Modern shamanistic adaptation. (Personal review: my favorite thing about the conference call method of teaching is that it allows for deep listening and holding silence. We're such an interruptive culture, and I've come to notice how much that's done by visual cue. In a conference call class, you never know when another participant is done speaking, or is just pausing, so there are delicious silences.) The other cool thing she's doing is painting and showing/selling online. See link below. I know the etymology is all wrong, but as a punster I've always enjoyed thinking of Pennsylvania as meaning "The Writer's Beautiful Place" - get it - *PEN*-sylvania (groan!) Now I know someone who's made my bad joke come true. So here's a rundown of current Francesca de Grandis links: Main website: http://www.outlawbunny.com/ Ye olde Wiccan website: http://www.well.com/user/zthirdrd/WiccanMiscellany.html Art: http://www.etsy.com/shop/outlawbunny Wild wonderful silk painting, beautiful beadwork, and eclectic other stuff. Blog: http://www.outlawbunny.com/blog/ Newsletter: http://www.outlawbunny.com/newsletter/ Classes: http://www.outlawbunny.com/classes/ New Books: The Ecstatic Goddess - - Wild Meditations, Lyrical Rituals, and Earth Sexuality for the Pagan Heart http://etsy.me/dNBrgL This is self-publishing at it's best: it's as if your brilliant professor/writer/teacher friend said, "Let me tell you what I *really* know," and shoved a bunch of poems, notes and stories into a big manila envelope and sent them to you. Be a Teen Goddess: http://bit.ly/edLU4N Readable by an actual teen. Spoken Word Album Bardic Alchemy: http://etsy.me/aW0Cgm I haven't heard, but Francesca is so enthused about it - and thrilled she actually DID IT - that I'm sure it's wonderful. >When spring comes, I will walk down the hill by my new home, past the seed farm, and onto the Ernst Trail. I wonder what will be there. So this is what she found...
Linda Castellani (castle) Sun 17 Apr 11 18:07
Thanks for the update.
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