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#WeekendCoffeeShare Monsoon Edition

July 15, 2017 7 Comments

Sonoran Desert

Sonoran Desert

When it rains it pours in the desert. We finally have our summer rainy season. If we were having coffee this weekend in Tucson you would notice the uptick in humidity, and the relief all the flora is now expressing. The long dry spell is broken. This annual event is met with great rejoicing here, no matter when it arrives. We would all burn in hell without our summer rain. Have a seat, relax, and tell me about your week.  We are still up to our ears in dates, so help yourself.  For tea, we have every flavor you can imagine.  I can serve it up on ice to keep you cool for our chat.  What’ll ya have today?  I am guzzling white strawberry iced tea..makes me remember spring, when it was not so hot.

If we were having coffee I would tell you about the ironic timing of events in the last week of my life.  First I crashed the back of my car and sent it to the shop for repair.  This incident kicked off a virtual cascade of related reactions.  This is the first insurance claim on a car I have made other than a cracked windshield.  I know the insurance company will raise my rates, and I have been thinking that my car no longer suits my lifestyle.  With my new job I now have a commute and it would be better to have a more efficient smaller vehicle (for which I will also pay lower insurance premiums).  I visited the Prius dealer and picked out my salesman.  He is extremely cool, from Senegal.  He claims to be able to dance better than all the West Africans in France…we shall see about that!! Moustapha and I will be cooking up the perfect deal for my new vehicle and image. I will be sure to show it to you all when it happens.  There is much to study before I make this move.

I had scheduled a light treatment at my dermatologists office before I crashed the car.  The treatment to remove precancerous spots from my face requires that I spend a few days in total darkness to recover.  I had changed my work schedule accommodate what I call the vampire days.  If you have to have your car repaired anyhow it is the perfect time to stay home in the dark.  I had a great time yesterday getting rid of things.  I have decided that along with my car and a layer of skin on my face I will shed everything I own that no longer thrills me.  This process will take some time, but I am determined to finish the job.  I feel liberated already by making these decisions.

I was distracted by real life enough to skip two days of writing this week.  I started to write a memoir on Monday because the alliteration just works. I wrote a short piece about my father and fishing ( because alliteration rules) I skipped #TeaTuesday because we had a very long meeting plus training at the grow.  A doctor presented both an hour of basic cannabis training, required by the state for those of us who hold the dispensary agent license, and a more advanced lecture for the whole staff.  Both hours were jam packed with information.  The doctor was a good presenter with plenty of science to back everything he said.  This job is the bomb. I shot some good footage for #WeedWednesday but did not get the post written this week.  Lucky for me nobody really suffers if I skip some days.  I only disappoint myself.

Since I discovered that alliteration is such a great way to create an editorial calendar I decided to write fiction of Friday. I chose a familiar real character from my youth and made up a story about her life.  I don’t think it qualifies as historical fiction, but I did make a start, so I am pleased with the idea.  I know it is corny but #SelfCareSunday, #MemoirMonday, #TeaTuesday, #WeedWednesday, and #FictionFriday make me very happy.  I write either fiction or poetry on Thursdays because I enjoy Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompts.  Do you follow a writing schedule or do you just let it flow?

What are you working on now?  I think many of you have inspired me to attempt fiction, and I thank you for that.  What kind of subjects do you like to cover?  Where do you get story ideas?  What remedies do your employ for writers’ block?  I am curious about your process. Let me pour you another glass of tea and listen. Tell me your news.

#WeekendCoffeeShare

#WeekendCoffeeShare

This weekly digital beverage party is hosted by our lovely hostess Diana at parttimemonsterblog. You can join the fun by reading, writing, and commenting here.  The group is diverse and witty, and who doesn’t want to visit New Orleans every week?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spikenard For Transformation

November 17, 2016 1 Comment

Nardostachys jatamansi

Nardostachys jatamansi

spikenard

spikenard

 

Spikenard has been used for centuries as both a healing and a ceremonial plant.  It is mentioned many times in the bible.  In the Song of Songs  4:13-14, the bridegroom sings of spikenard:

Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates
With pleasant fruits,
Fragrant henna with spikenard,
spikenard and saffron,
calamus and cinnamon,
with every kind of incense tree,
with myrrh and aloes,
and all the finest spices.

The most well known biblical reference to spikenard is found in Mark 14:3-9, New King James Version

The Anointing at Bethany
3 And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. 4 But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? 5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply.

6 But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. 7 For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. 8 She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. 9 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

Many people know the phrase the poor will be with you always, but few know the context or the meaning.  Mary Magdelene was preparing for Passover with Jesus, attending a seder at Simon the Leper’s house in Jerusalem.  She anointed Jesus’ feet with spikenard then dried the excess oil with her hair.  This is symbolic at many levels.  She was devout sitting at his feet, but she uncovered her hair, which a Jewish woman would not have normally done.  This business annoyed Judas, a guy known for stealing from the poor box.  Judas wants to know why she did not sell the spikenard and put the proceeds in the poor box so he can steal it.  Jesus explains that she is anointing him for burial.  There is some discussion about whether it was his feet or his head or both that she anointed.  This was not the main issue.  She used a great deal of fragrant oil and then went around with it all in her hair as a human incense.  This act was extremely unusual and divinely inspired.  You notice Mary did not make it into the last supper paintings, but she has been depicted anointing.

Mary Magdalene at Bethany

Mary Magdalene at Bethany

Pope Francis has used the spikenard in his coat of arms because in the Catholic church it represents Saint Joseph.

Pope Francis coat of arms

Pope Francis coat of arms

I like to wear some around my neck and shoulders when I feel I need to transform anything.  I also love to fragrance my home with it, especially during winter.  Although I guess it is an Easter symbol, I find the deep notes that linger in the air uplift my spirit in the darkest days.  I buy a high quality  essential oil, run a diffuser in my home, and also take it with me to the steam room for another way to feature it. I learned about spikenard kind of late in life, but am happily impressed with the results when I use it.  It is a deep root note in perfume that holds the bass note long after the high notes have evaporated.  Not everyone will love the smell as a single note, but with some mixing it works for most tastes.  I am fond of mixing frankincense, myrrh and spikenard together, which are all very deep notes.  I feel it lingering in the air. I like to saturate my home for full effects.  Do you use essential oils, gentle reader?  Aromatherapy is powerful medicine, often with deep historical meaning.  The physical potential is excellent, but the symbolic and magical significance of spikenard can take you to a new place.

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