Friday, August 30, 2013

Seamus Heaney

I am heavy-hearted this morning, hearing about the loss of one of the world's greatest poets. I hope you are drinking from a bright cup, Mr. Seamus Heaney. A snippet from a beautiful poem of his about being in the world and the fragility, the impermanence of it all. 

Blackberry Picking, by Seamus Heaney

"Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer's blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
Picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
[...] Each year I hoped they'd keep, knew they would not."

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Question & Answer: Young Reader's Brother Inadvertently Offends Faery

The question that came over Twitter: "Help me...I need to apologize to the faeries for my brother - there was a fairy trying to get to me and he kicked it away. So how do I tell them I'm sorry? He doesn't know faeries exist and I don't want to tell him they do cause he would be laughing at me."
Connecting with my favorite Apple Tree
Chalice Well Gardens, England

First of all, brothers can be the worst. You have my sympathies, friend. Siblings in general, especially when we are young, know exactly what ticks us off and are supreme experts at general harassment conducted for the sheer enjoyment of one person alone: themselves. This is also what, when you're older, makes siblings most lovable, and as a bonus it will also provide lots of moments of laughter when you get together years down the road. As in, "Remember that time you kicked my feet out from under me after you had convinced me to put my arms into the sides of my overalls, and promised, 'I will catch you.'?" This might have happened to me. But now we can laugh about it. And there is something special about being the sole focus of another person's attention in life, even if it is only so they can see when you're not looking and steal part of your dinner.

In the earnest quest to relate to the spirits of nature, respect is the number one quality that is needed. Luckily,  you are the one looking to connect with faeries, not your sometimes evil brother! : -) And it sounds like you are very kind and respectful. You can only control your actions, and I can assure you that the faeries don't blame you for anything your brother might do. Your problem brings up an issue with "faery-hunting" that I too have encountered. It is better to seek to relate to faeries or nature spirits when you are alone. Other people, especially the sorts of skeptics who are not so keen on being respectful of other people's beliefs, can really put a damper on your ability to reach out and have an experience. You might find it helpful to carry out some of your faery investigations like an undercover detective. That's what I often do. Try to find some quiet time in the outdoors alone, bring a book, perhaps, as your "foil" - if anyone sees you, they'll think you're just outside reading. But really, you can be sitting there and with your mind, reaching out to the faeries. Talk to them about whatever is on your mind. Leave them a little gift somewhere - a daisy chain you've made, a feather, a sea shell, or some fruit, a little chocolate, or cheese. Tell them that you love them and appreciate everything they're doing to support our beautiful planet. This will help you connect in no time. And you can make an apology for your brother if you like by simply telling them that you're sorry he kicked at them. But these sorts of things happen to faeries all the time, and they understand that some humans are more interested in having a relationship with them than others.

And this is totally okay.
Everyone needs the freedom to come to their unique spiritual beliefs in their own time. What we believe in is sacred - whatever it is, so long as it is about being kind, and good, and makes us try to be better people. And there are many people who don't even believe that. Whether you decide to share your beliefs with your brother or not, know that it's okay if people don't believe the same things you do. He will probably make fun of you. And find new ways to pick on you. So in this case, yes, it might be best to keep your mission of relating to the faery world to yourself when it comes to Brother. But all you can do is find your own way by relating to the world in the way that you feel is good, and right. That's all that counts. That's what the spirit world, whatever it is filled with, be it God or gods, faeries, tree spirits or ghosts or whatever it may be, will notice.

It is then, that your adventures will truly begin!

Wishing you every enchantment,
Finding feathers in Munich, Germany

Hanging out with the spirits of the River Teign
Devon, England