Sunday, April 15, 2018

Grandma

It starts with simple things. The brush of a breeze across the skin that reminds you of simpler times. The sound of a child's laugh when it sounds in a corridor. Even the smell of lipstick from an older company catching your notice.

All these are simple moments of unimportance. Each is contained in its own world of insignificance in our day. But for some of us, those of us in grief, they are like tinkling bells calling us to remember.

The strike of tonal memories and scent awareness. They resonate through us. The evocation of captured vignettes that are echoed in the current timeline of others.

I lost my grandmother on April 29, 2017. But in actuality, I lost her again that year. The second time was worse than the first.

The first time I lost her was when I was cut off as an unofficially adopted child. The cognitive dissonance, and continuous emotional damage of being caught between houses and factions in my younger years led to a custody struggle of three sides. My biological parent, my foster parents, and my grandmother.

In the war, my grandmother lost. She kept tabs on me, I believe. Communication between my foster mom and my grandmother was somewhat regular. I will never know.

Years passed and eventually through tragedy, displacement, and the total upheaval of my world, I found myself back in her presence again. I say with certainty of the soul, she was the only one in the entire world of heaven or earth that truly understood me, other than my foster father.

If I could have made a bridge between them both and sat upon it, I would have done so. A place to be seen, a place to be held, a place that we could have lived in a mutual set of worlds. But that was not to be.

She passed last year, exactly one week after my birthday at the age of 100 years. That is a lot those eyes have seen, yet the thing I remember most about them was their acceptance, kindness, and the understanding that I have never seen anywhere else in this life for me. She was my rock, my refuge, and my only advocate in life.

I have no true sense of belonging anywhere. I never have had one except in her presence. That is the only memory I have that means family to me. The moments like the ones where my foster father and grandmother were in the same room while I played with a toy house my biological mom bought me.

My foster mom was at home, or work, or somewhere else. I don't remember. But that memory is the most solid. My biological father was in jail, as always.

The second most real memory was when I was in her bed,  10 years ago. I was tired, broken, and sad. So, she let me sleep in her bed. I slept for the first time in a very long while without being sad. The room full of dolls who were like silent guardians.

Of course, she made sure to let me know I was fat. She was worried. But she also meant no harm by it, and never hurt me when she said it.

Her favorite phrase was, "I would rather make you mad than hurt your feelings".

She never made me mad. She was my grandmother. And from those days, til her last days, she always had my back.

Now, the first year since she has gone is almost done. The truth remains as full then as now. She was the only one who truly meant family to me, even more than my foster father.

So here I find myself alone. At least when she was here, I felt that there was a bit of grace and love that still tied me to something in this world that loved me wholly, not just for what I could do. Everyone needs a grandmother.

Everyone needs a grandmother.

I dedicate this to her, because though our faith was not the same, she would have liked this.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Metro Detroit Pagan Community Statement of Concern 2018 - G.L.W.C of Michigan

Metro Detroit Pagan Community Statement of Concern
2018

METRO DETROIT, APRIL 12, 2018 — Actions and circumstances have necessitated, in the view of this body, an official statement regarding our position on several matters. Over the last year, the rise of “witch hunts”, “witch wars”, and what appears on its face to be a power imbalance are of concern to us.

Multiple organizations in the region are in internal and external crisis. Leadership positions are no longer based on community visions. The previous culture of service, vision, and upliftment is now one infected with backroom negotiations and breaches of promise. Rumors and hearsay are used to destroy character, without chance for rebuttal, in the public eye. The torches are lit and we see missteps, mistakes, and ignorant actions no longer being times for education, but times for total annihilation by social media attackers and mercenary courtiers.

Michigan moved from presumption of innocence, and subsequent actions against those who commit physical harm. Now the community punishes, with great zeal and relish, any perceived infraction no matter the relevance to the person’s position. Personal slights are magnified into full on reputation assassinations. The drive to foment conflict and cause factioning is in full swing, and we fear it has not yet reached its amplitude.

Of primary concern are the following:

  • The hyperbolic reactions and consolidation of personal and organizational harassment against persons during a crisis without a community sit down meeting.
  • The penchant for the total destruction of leadership without thought to restorative measures considered to the community.
  • The removal of persons from positions of leadership based on non-public and personal relationships and affairs.
  • The insidious climate of a McCarthy type marginalization of people based on differing ideas, tenets of spiritual practice, and political views.
  • The fostering of conflict in what seems to be a premeditated path to an underground purge of said persons.

We urge our peers to step back a moment and consider their actions very carefully. How you proceed in the next year will set the stage for an incoming generation. Now is the time for open and honest public conversation and transparent airings of accusations and grievances.

For at least three in our community, they are hamstrung by this shift. Their character and actions were cast aside to rot, good works be damned. That is the risk of public service, though. However, usually the public is not swayed by private agendas so easily. How many stakes will be needed to feed your witch hunt fires? If this continues, when will you take your place in one next?

“A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows public opinion.” – Grantland Rice

The G.L.W.C. of Michigan was founded in 2012 to To Facilitate Workshops, Events, Classes, Community Outreach, and a Forum for the Magickal and Magickally Interested Communities.

Media Contact:
Kenya Coviak
rzrrvn@yahoo.com
G.L.W.C. of Michigan/Great Lakes Witchs Council

Sunday, February 4, 2018

PBN Blues Series: “Michigan Water Blues” by Jelly Roll Morton

We return to our series for the Pagan practitioner with another PBN Blues Series installment. Did you miss us? We missed you.
*We would also like to remind you, Flint, Michigan still does not have clean water.
There are time when the only way to break a streak of bad luck is to shake it off and seek new places and faces. Changing the mind can change the world. But if roots are being done on you locally, booking a flight or hitting the road, may be the answer, if viable. In these circumstances, clients are known to come for insight and work to prepare their route and “traveling mercies”. As a business person, you want to retain clients, but you also want to be of service to them as well. How you handle referrals is delicate and important.

Public Domain
Traveling on, but not without baggage
Curtis L. comes to you with his “I just quit another job” shirt on his back, pressed and fresh. A customer from your early days of business, he has stuck with you for 20 years. Traveling where the work will take him, he drifts from town, and state to state. His flashy watch matches the shine in his eyes, and you anticipate new employment status, and newer lady friends, in some place at the other end of a tank of gas. You mentally prepare to gather his usual assortment of spell components.
Curtis L. surprises you this time, though. He tells you that this is probably the last time you will see him for some years. It seems that he has a job up  in Michigan, and a plethora of opportunities. He is asking you not for his usual small kit, but simply a travel protection root bag and the name of a good shop or worker in Detroit.
Now, Curtis L. has been as dependable as the rains in fall, and the earth underfoot. His regular business has often meant the difference between being able to be in the black at the end of a month, and counting a loss. His word of mouth also keeps a steady stream of wealthy ladies finding your shop and lining your cash register drawer. Even his church friends come for blessed Seals of Moses you get from Sleeping Gryphon.  Yes, indeed, Curtis L. is a valued customer.
For this reason, you decide to sabotage his move. In your opinion, the relationship is too beneficial to both of you. You decide to fill the order, but nullify it with your own work. You then set lights for his job to fall through before he has been there a week. You will break this man for both of your sakes. In your view, no other worker can look after him like you, anyway.

Public Domain
You smile, and lie through your Fashion Fair coral lipstick and tell him you know not one authentic practitioner, sorry. You wish him well and watch him walk through your door, knowing he will return a broken man. But you also know you will then keep Curtis L. just healed enough to ensure your prosperity for many years to come. With this decision, you now have changed the course of your practice, but you are fine with that.

Fond Farewell, with some stories to tell
Curtis L. comes to you with his “I just quit another job” shirt on his back, pressed and fresh. A customer from your early days of business, he has stuck with you for 20 years. Traveling where the work will take him, he drifts from town, and state to state. His flashy watch matches the shine in his eyes, and you anticipate new employment status, and newer lady friends, in some place at the other end of a tank of gas. You mentally prepare to gather his usual assortment of spell components.
Curtis L. surprises you this time, though. He tells you that this is probably the last time you will see him for some years. It seems that he has a job up  in Michigan, and a plethora of opportunities. He is asking you not for his usual small kit, but simply a travel protection root bag and the name of a good shop or worker in Detroit.
Now, Curtis L. has been as dependable as the rains in fall, and the earth underfoot. His regular business has often meant the difference between being able to be in the black at the end of a month, and counting a loss. His word of mouth also keeps a steady stream of wealthy ladies finding your shop and lining your cash register drawer. Even his church friends come for blessed Seals of Moses you order from Sleeping Gryphon.  Yes, indeed, Curtis L. is a valued customer.

Sixthandseventhbooks_fourth_seal_1880.png – Public Domain
You will feel the loss of Curtis L. both emotionally and financially. His custom and referrals contributed to the success and popularity of your business. He sees you as a trusted fictive family member, and you are honored to be held in such esteem. You hold his trust sacred, and it is with this in mind, you prepare with care his last package.
You are a member of the Pagan Business Network, so you know the way to find the people he needs to know and how to place him in touch with them. You also know that a quick free divination will aid him to avoid any unforeseen trouble with the new employer. You give him this free of charge.
With a final goodbye, you send an email to the businesses you recommended, with his permission, with an introduction. He will never forget you, and will no doubt continue to sing your praises. Word of mouth on social media makes his continued referrals very probable for local clients.
Curtis L. sends you a chat message three months later. He is doing very well. That last parting gift of Boss Fix was just what he needed to foil a coworker’s plot to undermine him. His new local worker has a great relationship with him, and you and she often refer clients to each other for online customers. His reviews on both your sites is like honey to bees. Your choice to give a hand up instead of a pulling back, lifted you both.

Public Domain
Looking at Life
Your honor and business reputation are your most bankable asset. Without them, you have nothing. There is no lesson greater than this.