So Tell Me ... What's The Weather Like on YOUR Planet?

09 April, 2008


When I was doing my Feri apprenticeship, we spent several seasons doing focused work with the lemniscate gods of that tradition. And I found myself completely foiled by trying to work with Mari. Call it mommy issues, call it whatever; I could not fathom that goddess.

And as I lay in half-meditation last night, thinking about motherhood and children and all the things that come with them, I turned my thoughts towards Mari, and for the first time, I beheld the goddess.

I have spent much of my day in a half-haze from unrelated sleeplessness, contemplating the goddess, contemplating my vision of Her. Shaping images with my mind in preparation for attempting to shape them with my hands, oh, gods, I need my studio working, need to build, need to get my tools, my hands into earth again, how I have missed it.

And I was meditating on goddesses in the subway, on Mari and the Star Goddess, on the ways They interplay with Hetharu, on all these things, considering the black mirror of the train windows like the black arc of space, contemplating what I had learned of the body of the goddess, embodying the goddess, in the span of that vision.

And the train slowly filled up, from nearly empty when I got on at the end of the line, to each row of seats with two, then three people. And I looked up, saw a tall, lanky, grizzled black man scanning the train, looking for a place to sit.

I moved my bag off the seat next to me, and he accepted the granted space, sitting on the other side of the now-open seat and setting his armload of newspapers, folded and not, between us.

He picked up a newspaper, folded it carefully down the center, added it to the pile of folded ones. Picked up another, folded it. Issue upon issue of the Spare Change News, a newspaper addressing the concerns of the homeless, primarily sold by the homeless.

I found a dollar in my pocket and offered it to him. He accepted it, handed me the just-folded newspaper, and tucked the dollar away into his pocket; I started to read. Anti-war articles; unionization in a co-op grocery; local matters of concern to the homeless; the Lusty Lady reorganisation; musicians perform at a veterans' shelter; a pro-Clinton piece; a pro-Obama piece; concerns of immigrants; where there are meals; disability benefits. Poetry. A political cartoon. A crossword and a sudoku, and me without a pen.

I read, and he folded. And I wondered what he thought of me, the dazed white woman who made for him a little space and bought his newspaper without him having to ask, as I read. All the divides between us with their potential for awkwardness, for politely turned away eyes and pretending not to see, but we maybe managed a little space where we could be human to each other, two people on the subway. Space for a little kindness.

(And it is finally becoming spring here, at last; warm enough for a man with a guitar to sing "Mercy Street" in the square where the ice cream shop is giving away free ice cream in honor of the home opener, the baseball season striking me as so akin to the growing season as I think of it watching the queue for ice cream and trying to decide if I want some.)

When I got up at my stop, he wished me well, and I wished him well. Two people on the subway, embodying our own particular gods, and we blessed each other.

May you be a blessing.

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