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Last Updated 28 December 2003

Time: 7:47 pm EST
Date: 28 December 2003
Reading: "Seventh Son" by Orson Scott Card
Hearing: The clothes dryer
Inspiration: End of year

Entry: Wrapping it Up

I totally stole this from Erin's LiveJournal entry today. I wanted to do a sort of "end-of-the-secular-year" end-cap/re-cap, but this will suffice.

1. What did you do in 2003 that you'd never done before?
I told the truth, the whole truth, to all my loved ones. I got straight A's at a fully accredited University. I won the uncergraduate research essay contest that my university has every year with a paper that was somewhat controversial. I applied for and was accepted to a program to study abroad. We bought a brand new car.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I did keep every single one, and I don't usually. I only added one to the three I made last year, and that is to really focus on exercise and being more active.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, but a lot of them got pregnant!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No one really close, but some people I knew of.

5. What countries did you visit?
None except America.

6. What would you like to have in 2004 that you lacked in 2003?
Fluency in French and more even confidence in myself.

7. What date from 2003 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 13th for a day that changed my life (The Confession), and this Christmas day because it was melancholy and bittersweet.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I didn't read/study/practice Wicca as much as I'd have liked, but it's not really a failure...maybe my budgeting was a near failure.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing other than a little cold and a fever.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Extended Edition DVD, Confessions of a Pagan Nun (book), the makings for my Soul Journal, my education.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I have to say me for telling the truth, James for really thinking about his life, Michael for getting in to Cornell, Eric for putting up with my lack of funds most of the time, Dick for surviving another year with pancreatic cancer.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The bloody Bush Administration all around. France's descision to ban head scarves and other religious symbols in public. The Academy of Arts and Sciences snub of Lord of the Rings yet another year.

14. Where did most of your money go?
University, gas, stamping supplies, vacation.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My paper winning the contest, the idea of going to France next summer, straight A's, Eric Eric Eric, seeing everyone on vacation, Lord of the Rings(!!!!!!!!!!).

16. What song will always remind you of 2003?
Tori's version of "Running to Stand Still," Coldplay's "The Scientist," Outcast's "Hey Ya!"

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Much happier!
ii. thinner or fatter? Thinner, by 20+ pounds and counting!
iii. richer or poorer? In the terms of "money:" poorer; in the terms of "spirit:" richer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Wicca, hiking, gardening/landscaping, interior decoration in our house, bicycling, running, discovering, reading.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Spending money, wasting time, watching TV, stressing.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent it with my fiance's family, quitely, and at home.

22. Did you fall in love in 2003?
Every single day.

23. How many one-night stands?
Thank the Gods, none!

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Inside the Actor's Studio, I Love the 80's/I Love the 80's Strikes Back, The West Wing.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
What a shallow question...I try not to HATE anyone, and there isn't anyone I like any less. So, no.

26. What was the best book you read?
"Confessions of a Pagan Nun" by Kate Horsley.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Fynnon, Cuig, Vaarttina (again).

28. What did you want and get?
A new camera (thanks to X-Mas), new running shoes, a fat-bottom girl gel seat for my bike, 20 pounds lighter, another year wiser, my soul sister and brother, the best fiance in the history of my lives.

29. What did you want and not get?
48 hour days, greater proficiency at guitar, waterproof paper and ink so I can write in the rain.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, hands down, by far the best movie I've seen in ages. But I also liked The Hours.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Turned 27, and I don't recall what we did...dinner with a good red wine.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
More money, just because the society demands it, not because I do. A pilgrimage to Ireland's druidic sacred sites...

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2003?
What's a "fashion concept?" Hell, what's fashion? I think it was one half 1970's hippy, one half J.Jill catelogue, with a dash of Land's End.

34. What kept you sane?
Confessing. Eric. Marisa. James. Music. Writing. Laughing.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Nicole Kidman rocked out this year! The entire cast of LOTR too.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
G. Dubbya and everything connected to him, France banning religious symbols worn in public, and I love the fact that hybrid engine technology is COOL!

38. Who was the best new person you met?

Robin from the UNCG library, Jordan, Stacey, Delta's fiance Jason.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2003:
Truth is more precious than we even realize. Always strive to be honest. Seek out the truth and let it illuminate your soul.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

"Keep your eyes on her, keep your eyes on the horizon."


Time: 10:12 pm EST
Date: 10 December 2003
Reading: "Seventh Son" by Orson Scott Card
Hearing: Myself singing torch songs
Inspiration: Motion

Entry: Final Things

Just an update on the progress of my finals. I had two today, and that was my heaviest load. This morning at eight, I had my Chaucer final. It's funny, but for being the one I was most looking forward to, I feel like I sort of wimped out. Well, not like you might think. I still took two hours and turned in five pages front and back. I just felt very loose, distractable, unfocused. I did A work, I always do when it comes to writing an essay final, it just felt weird. Since I finished an hour early and had an hour break scheduled between the ending of the first final and the second, I took my French notes over to the EUC (student center), bought a large dark roast coffee and sat studying for a good hour and a half. I found myself watching other people studying than actually studying myself, but I did manage to memorize my small composition for the French final. I did not, however, manage to memorize the irregular verb forms for the conditional and the future tenses. I missed six of them on the final, which drops me automatically into the low A range, and I know I've got more mistakes than that. Good news is, I had an A+ (whatever that means, but Mme Levine said I did have it) going into the final so I can get as low as a C to still keep an A- in the course. That will be very good since I am now a French minor candidate and I must keep a B average in my language courses. If I do keep an A in that course, then I should have no problems making the Dean's List again this semester. Not bad, but you know I'm still totally stressing out about it all.

In other grading news, I received an A in my biology lab. I ended up enjoying that more than I first thought I would. I have never liked being taught science, at least not in my academic history have I ever done really well in a science class. This is puzzling because on every acheivement test feedback sheet since the first grade (and believe me, my parents saved them all) I have gotten high marks in science. And I do have a great interest in science, expecially biology and conservation. Maybe it is because I am older now, not in high school. Or maybe it is because I had a lab instructor who was really cool, and a biology teacher who was interested in a field that I found interesting to listen about. Who knows. Good grades matter without reason.

I also managed to garner an A on my Chaucer term paper, and another nomination for the English Department's research paper contest that occurs each spring. I have lots of plans for this essay, and I knew I would submit it even if Dr. T. didn't choose to nominate it. I don't know if I can win the contest two years in a row--I don't know that anyone has before. I do think that I have agood change of making some serious waves again though. This essay isn't nearly as controversial as the last one--no pagan conversions to be had. But is does cover a subject that is viewed as conjecture by all the critics, and I've simply added some more to the mix. I took a deffinate stand, and that seems to be what draws people to my essays in the first place, the fact that I seem so bloody sure of myself. Only in my writing, folks. Outside of that is all uncertainty. But anyway, as with everything else, I will keep you posted as the grades fall, or as deadlines near.

I finally finished the book I've been reading for months, the one I've been reading for pleasure. Since I have little time for personal reading, it took so long to read a novel that is under 200 pages long! But I did finish it, and it was WONDERFUL! It is exactly the type of book I want to write, everything that I want to do with all of my learning. The book is, of course, "Confessions fo a Pagan Nun," and I recommend it to anyone who is interested in religion, the ancient Celts, druidry, Celtic Christianity, the meeting and the clash of the two faiths in about the 7th century Ireland, or any combination of these things. The love story is JUST RIGHT--wait, let me say that again--JUST RIGHT! It is subtle and realistic and understated but so powerful. It does not take up the whole book, it is not really obsessed over. The writing and the language used by Kate Horsley is amazing, and the comparison/contrast between Christianity and Celtic paganism is very enlightning. The thoughts pondered are worth pondering outside the book's pages and that is why I want the whole world to read this book--it might just save us all.


Time: 4:52 pm EST
Date: 06 December 2003
Reading: Confessions of a Pagan Nun, Emily Dickinson poetry
Hearing: North Waves (Roots Radio)
Inspiration: Paper Journal Entry

Entry: Why I Write/ 10 Years??

I'm sure there are 10,000 reasons more, but those are the ones I always come back to. Who I am matters, and I wouldn't know that half as well as I do now if I hadn't been keeping my thoughts around in journals like this one for the last 17 1/2 years. That is amazing to me, that ammount of time. I received an e-mail from my friend Anna the ohter day requesting my assistance in locating fellow 1994 graduates for our ten year high school reunion that she and Estelle are organizing. 10 YEARS?? Where did the time go? It feels like yesterday I was walking those yellowing halls, going to choir class, rehearsing on that glorious stage; just yesterday that I crushed on a new boy every week, stressed and obsessed about them, touched them for a brief moment and then drifted on again; just yesterday that I hated girls for no other reason than the fact that they would always have better hair or clothes or skin or boyfriends than I did, or because they had a car or a crown from a prom, or a gaggle of girlfriends who hated me too because I was inferior in popularity; just yesterday that I fell in love with literature, theater, art, music, nature; just yesterday that I discovered my soul and used it to sing out all of my insecurities, if only for five minutes, during a performance or recital, and for those fleeting, flying moments, I AWED strong black women, popular boys and girls, teachers, jocks, art geeks, rockers, newspaper reviewers and MY OWN FATHER by bearing my brilliant soul on the wings of a song. It was only yesterday that I found my truest friends, the ones who will always love me unconditionally and be around for all my triumphs and disappointments; just yesterday I discovered my soul sister--Marisa, my champion heroine--Delta, my solid support system--Matt, and the man who gave to me the first real taste of life, love and most importantly, passion--Adam; it feels like yesterday that we all were together holding hands and laughing, hugging and kissing, praising and hoping and dreaming, comforting and crying and even disagreeing. It all feels so near yet--not 10 years past--not a whole decade later. But, when I really think about it, I would not go back to those days even if I could, and, truthfully, I do not mourn their passing. They are living in me, those memories, and they have fused with my soul and helped me become who I am today. Cast in their faint glow I begin to like who I am now, even if I hated who I was then. I'm allowed to see just how much I've grown and learned, changed and remained the same, loved and lost, released and incorporated and finally OWNED.

So it has been ten years. It's okay that I'm not 17; it's good to be 27! It's okay that I don't see my friends everyday, because the time I do see them becomes infinitely more cherished. I am alive and living a good life, nevermind that it's not a bi-polar roller-coaster or hormonal madhouse every day (well, not like it was then). I'm in love. I'm happy. I'm much wiser and more worldly. I'm capable and adaptable. I'm myself for no other reason than I know who I am--no one else defines me. That is the best feeling in the world and I'm reveling in that. It's ten years on, ten years further down the path that is my life. It could be no better time. I am fine and life is good!


Time: 10:37 pm EST
25 November 2003
Confessions of a Pagan Nun, Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself," Tons of tomes of Chaucer criticism
New Tori Boots
New Prospects

Entry: Exciting News from Foreign Lands

I've received some very good news as of about eleven this morning. For about a month now, I've been toying with the idea of taking French as a minor. I've been doing really well this semester, and my professor suggested it to me after a composition I'd turned in and done extremely well on. I sort of blew it off at first, but then I really started thinking about whether or not I could do it, because I wanted to have a minor, and a second language is quite marketable in any field. I was trying to figure out the best way to fit in the five necessary classes into my next two semesters and started getting frustrated because it wasn't going to work. That was until I was presented with the option of taking a summer abroad to take two courses at the University of Angers in Angers, France. It was late in the process, but I thought I'd look into it, and I applied. I went through the stress of getting everything together, the interview process, and getting my first ever blood test (you should see the bruise on my arm!). I figured that so long as I got a yes or no answer, I'd be happy either way, because going onto the waiting list would suck. In my in-box this morning was the confirmation of my acceptance into the program. I will be going to France next summer for a month to study the language and visit cultural sites, to include Medieval chateaux and a vineyard. I will have two weekends in Paris bookending the three and a half weeks in Angers. I'm very excited, as you can imagine. This will be my first time overseas, and I am a bit scared too, because I don't know what to expect. So, for those readers who have been to Europe, or France, give me tips on what to take, what not to bother with, what to buy, what I simply cannot leave without trying, good eats...whatever you think would be good for the journey.

Something that has been hampering my absolute joy, though just a little, is the fact that I almost let myself chicken out of even trying for this. Yes, I know that it is a very good opportunity, something that I wouldn't probably experience outside of University. But more than once I let my old thinking take over enough to doubt my abilities (either my ability to be accepted at all, my ability to survive over there, my ability to learn and speak French on demand, my ability to rise to those sorts of challenges that I kick myself in the ass for not ever trying). But then I think about how good it is that I just let the momentum of the moment take me and carry me through the process. I still had my doubts, I still wondered if I was doing the right thing, if I can afford it, if I will do well in my studies there being so easily distractable just at the thought of BEING THERE. But I am going, and I am going to try, because to not have tried would have made me absolutely miserable--I would be taking a HUGE step backwards. So now I am excited, and curious, and a little worried about funding, but generally happy that I have chosen to extend myself in this way. Now I will grow. Now I will have an experience to write about that is outside of my normal everyday experiences. I'm proud of myself.

I hope that everyone's holiday plans will be filled with love and laughter. Mine will too, except that it will also be filled with reading and studying and completing all the outstanding work I have before the time to study for finals arrives. Over the winter break, I plan on trying to conceive and write a short story to submit to the literary journal for the spring semester as well as read some fiction for pleasure. I will also see Return of the King as much as I can afford to. I will see friends, I will laugh and maybe even have the time and money to make or give gifts. What a nice thought.

It may be a time before I can write again, maybe two weeks. I will try, even if they are brief updates. All is well, outside of that low-lying constand flutter of stress that I've grown accustomed to these days. It seems to keep me going, fueling me. I know that it isn't healthy, but it will only be for another year. There is always stress, but the stress that follows my graduation will be the joyful stress of planning nuptuals and such. That's not so bad, is it?

Love and Light this Samhain season.


Time: 10:23 pm EST
Date: 24 October 2003
Reading: Transcendentalism
Hearing: Live Tori Amos Bootleg MP3's
Inspiration: High Marks

Entry: Good Grades and Bad Days

Good grades abound! I received an A- on my Chaucer term paper, one of two A's in the class so far. Dr. T. embarassed me by mentioning my paper in class, which is actually an honor, but I'm still not used to having good things said about my work. Now I must take my thesis and do some research on it in the library and online, which should be fairly challenging as no one writes on what I did for whatever reason. On Wednesday, I turned in a French composition, which consisted of three reviews of French films. We received those back today, and she complimented me aloud: "Tres bien, Jennifer!" Everyone in that class hates me anyway because I always seem to know the answers when they don't, and the professor knows it too, so she just looks at me over her glasses as a prompt for the phrase or word or conjugation. After class she asked me if I'd ever considered taking a French minor and I shook my head. I didn't think I was doing THAT well. All I did was review three films I'd heard were good and enjoyed. That's easy. Hopefully she'll let me do the same for the nest composition due on 22 November. I'd just like it much better than writing an answer to one of the questions in our texts. How dull.

This weekend, I have another American Literature essay to produce, this time on the American Transcendentalists (Emerson and Thoreau, to be more precise) and their ideas of individualism and the American Dream. I'm excited! From my first reading of Emerson in high school, I knew that I had found a kindred spirit. He had such a definitive voice, and it never failed or waivered. In fact, it inspired all the others in the Transcendental group, to include his prodigy, Thoreau. Of course, Thoreau is more like an anarchist than Emerson, who was truly a Libertarian. Our discussion in class today was excellent because I got to bring up my theory that Emerson wrote "Nature" in an attemp to realize his "aboriginal self," and in that based his ideas of deity and religion on the animistic beliefs of the Native Americans. My professor was sort of taken aback, whether because I saw it too, or because she hadn't thought of that herself, I don't know. Sometimes it feels REALLY good to be such a geek!

Dick went in to the hospital today for a cathater and his first dialysis treatment. He has another scheduled for tomorrow morning and then he will be free tom come home. Dialysis once a week until his levels are back to normal and he can return to his chemotherapy drugs. They said they removed 6 pounds of superfluous fluids from him today. No wonder he was feeling sick! That's almost a gallon! I came directly after school to the hospital and picked Nancy up, and she took Eric and I to dinner in the Duke Cafeteria. It was surprisingly good. I was a bit out of sorts because I hate hospitals, really, truly loath them. I've never been to a hospital without feeling this crazy woozy feeling when I walk down the long antiseptic hallways and smell what I can only call the smell of sickness, that stale, stagnant air that fills every space with its stench and the humming of florescent lighting. Ugh, it gives me chills. And people go there to get better? Hardly. I will not have children in a hospital. I cannot imagine life anywhere that type of place. It makes me wonder if that doesn't contribute somewhat to our attitudes in this modern world, our lack of really living life and mostly just existing. We all walk around dull and sedated, full of melancholy or sadness, kept to ourselves in our own little sterile bubbles. Hospitals spook me out.

Time: 5:00 pm EST
Date: 19 October 2003 (Happy Birthday, Risa!)
Reading: Chaucer's "Hous of Fame" again, "Confessions of a Pagan Nun" by Kate Horsley
Hearing: Classical music, as it helps me write well
Inspriation: Cycles

Entry: Chaucer Term Paper Complete!/ Big Load of Karma En Route

Woo-Hoo! I have just completed my term paper for Dr. T''s Chaucer course. You may not understand how happy this makes me, considering I put it off till the last minute (being that it is due Monday at 9:00 am). This is this semester's equivalent to the research paper I wrote last Fall that garnered a prize for best research essay by the UNCG English Department. This is a first draft, so to speak, a general defense of my chosen thesis using only the primary text itself. Dr. T. then reads and grades it, hands it back to us, and directs us to support our thesis using support from outside sources, to include other critical texts on the work(s) we've chosen. I chose something fairly difficult, rather, challenging. I know there isn't much scholarship on my thesis, and that the research portion of this is likely to drive me batty. But I have significant textual support from the main work, and that may be enough to bolster whatever I do find. I have certainly found lots of journal articles attempting theories along the same lines as my thesis, and they may proove usefull. But there is no real published books that deal with it in criticism, and I'd like there to be more than just one type of source in my works cited (as that showes one's knowledge and respect for the idea of doing research as well, which then adds merit to the scholar). I don't want to get into my thesis here. I tried to tell my father about it on the telephone this afternoon and I found myself getting too wordy. It is a difficult theory to encapsulate in a few words, so for the sake of my readers, I won't try. Once the paper is marked and graded, I will share it with anyone who asks at that point. Right now, I am glad to have it down on paper. I'll let it merry in the computer for a few hours before I come back to it for a final edit, hopefully with the help of Eric's careful eyes, correct the finishing touches, and print it out. Then I will truly breathe a sigh of relief.

I feel I've taken a stiffer stand in this paper than I did in the last one. I state my thesis, and my opinion, very clearly and succinctly in the first paragraph without much dilly-dallying. Oftentimes, I set the thing up with some flowery segeway, but not this time. That has me a bit shocked, actually, because I don't often write that way, tending to lean towards a passive assertive voice rather than one of active assertion. I don't know how this will be taken when it comes to the portion of my grade that is based on style and presentation. I don't think it is a subject to be subtle with, and I am making a point (yet again) that goes against all known scholarship and is thought of mostly as conjecture. That is what I do. I never take anything at face value, nor do I conform very easily. My thesis became apparant to me on first reading of the poem I've chosen, and I knew it was something I wanted to tackle. It will be to my accolade or my demise, as it can only be one or the other. I might get the kudos on bravery alone. Who knows...

In other news, stress over the health of the Elder Taylor's has made its mark on our lives in the form of an exclaimation point. Dick is having to undergo kidney dialysis later next week, with at least an overnight stay in the hospital. The chemotherapy has wreaked havoc on his kidneys and the oncologist is unable to continue the treatements until they have recovered. This could, of course, cause other problems such as tumor growth or mastastisization. Mortality has been on our minds, and it never has good timing. Dick is ever-positive, his faith giving him an almost eerie serenity while the rest of us do the fretting and worrying for him. There is nothing to do but pray and send out good energy, love and light. It's times like this that I yearn to be strong for everyone, but only find myself shutting people out, closing down, feeling more "flight" than "fight." Therein lies the guilt, the strange feeling that this is somehow karmic retribution for abandoning my mother to her own devices in Colorado. It was a perfectly selfish gesture, and absolutely what I needed to do at the time for my own "self preservation." (This is in quotation marks because it exactly echoes what my father said when he left my mother in 1998.) I didn't feel I could take on the responsibility of nursemaid for my ailing mother. This was mostly because I was lost to myself, unaware of who I was as a person, adrift. How could I, therefore, become an anchor for anyone else? So, I fled. I took the first offer from a friend and relocated to Ft. Collins, and then, across the country. Flight is an easy instinct to surrender to, and an even easier one to rationalize. And so, here I am, somewhat more self-actualized that I was five years ago, yet still that instinct tickles the dark corners of my thought. This situation is a bit different now, as I have entered into this relationship with Eric, and with his family, for the long haul. I must deal with this. That is obviously a sign of growth from the descision I made in May of 1999, when I left my mother. Perhaps this is just the first step to reconciling that to myself, as it is apparently still an issue. Maybe this is the kick in the ass I need to say, you know what, taht was really shitty of me, I've got to start helping out my mother. I do feel that I should, I always have. Back then my need to define my edges was more necessary than letting my life be absorbed into my mom's. And now that I feel I have a better grip on myself, now that I've discovered one edge, I might be able to take something like that on without loosing myself in the process. I know there is a lesson for me here, and it will find its way to me in time. It is useless to worry about it until the time arises, and when that does occur, I can simply make the most out of it.That doesn't help the stress though.

Time: 6:37 pm EST
Date: 12 October 2003
Reading: Nothing today
Hearing: Nothing today
Inspiration: Anger, Dismay, and even Hope

Entry: The Wedding/Defeated

Eric and I arrived in Hickory around one pm. We drove around town for a bit, Eric got his bearings and we saw Lake Hickory and some of the town. Around two, we attempted to find Kelly at her grandparent's house, since we hadn't heard from anyone (despite the many messages left on phones) about our sleeping arrangements for the night. Kelly's soon-to-be-inlaws were supposedly holding a room for us at a hotel, but we had no idea where. Luckily we did catch up with Kelly, and her matron of honor, Greta, there. We hung out for about a half an hour, chatting with her grandparents (who are THE nicest people ever) and getting the down low from Kelly. She left shortly thereafter to get her hair done, so Eric and I went to the hotel to attempt to find our room and give a shout out to Derrick's parents, Debbie and Dan. Unfortunately, the girl at the front desk of the Quality Inn was a bit befuddled at our situation, and in many attempts to find someone who knew what was going on, I ended up just leaving a not for the Elder Johnsons' with my cell number. I was too hungry to wait for them all afternoon. Dan did call at lunch, and we were soon checked in and rested for about an hour before we left for the church.

That's right...and a Baptist church no less. Kelly had told me that she felt okay doing it there because she and Derrick had spoken to the preacher and gone over the sermon and liturgey for the ceremony. She told me that it wasn't that bad. I was worried because she and Derrick are both pagans, and I know that thier faith-paths are important to them. I was concerned that they were selling out. I know that many members of their respective families don't know, or uncerstand the concept of any religion other than theirs (which is, inevitably, Christian), and it was out of respect for their family members that they were to be married in a church. So I was expecting a pretty non-demoninational service. Good grief, was I in for a surprise. I just felt totally defeated every time the man said the word "God," or "Christ," or "Christian." At one point he said that their desire was to have a Christian home. I imagine he was adlibbing a lot of the stuff, that those things weren't written in the liturgy when Kelly looked over it. It made me sad, even a bit disgusted. It felt to me that they weren't really getting married, like this Christian ceremony was a farse, a show, just to please everyone else. There were no pagan vestiges in the ceremony either, no jumping the broom, no real symbology for the ring (except the stuff you always here--the ring is made of gold, and it is a circle, blah, blah, blah). I threw my birdseed half-heartedly, and we soon left for the reception at the VFW hall.

This was definately a meeting of many different cultures. Kelly and Greta are both college educated, at a very liberal university. They are very liberal minded and have very liberal friends. So this crown of hippies, anthropologists, foreigners, and "alternative" lifestylers were attending this wedding, somehow mingling among the long steeped souther gentry and the hicks, many of which brought along their prejudices and rude behavior, drinking and smoking habits, and general attitude of "just here for the food." Eric and I don't know many of the people who were there, and I knew only slightly more due to my attenting Kelly's bridal shower a month before. So I was able to point out and even introduce some of Kelly's family to Eric, but that was about it for mingling. The rest of the table we sat at embodied many of the qualities I mentioned earlier, one younger guy (mid-late 20's) announced that the Indian man who had come in a bit late with his white girlfriend was a "towel-head." Those immediately surrounding him agreed with chuckles or nods of the head. I wanted to tell them to keep their prejudices to themselves, but I didn't. Soon the chauvanist joking and remarks came out as well, and I found myself on the dance floor with Greta more often than not towards the end of the evening. The reception was good, for the most part. The ciggarette smoke got to me, but that is to be expected in the south. Thank the Goddess for Greta though, who's matron of honor speech for the Bride and Groom was full of pagan symbolism and spirit. Thanks for keeping it real, Sister!

Kelly looked just lovely. Greta too. Despite all their stress and all the problems that happened within the 72 hour period before the walk down the aisle, they really looked calm and serene. Derrick, the groom, looked nearly respectable in his rented suit, but the reception gave him the opportunity to act a bit like his "old self." I don't know the man very well, and the one other time I did meet with him he was frustrated with his car that had broken down, and not much in the mood for pleasantries with me (not that it was a good excuse to brush me off). We didn't get any time to speak this visit either. I worry for Kelly, wondering if this is really a good match for her, if this is going to last. I don't know, I certainly do hope that they will proove my little psychic twinge wrong. We'll see. I may have more to say about this as time goes on. But for now, my little diatribe is through.

I had a dream in the hotel last night, featuring my oldest cat, Grey. He and another cat we had purchased, one that looked just like him except with darker gray markings where Grey has white, were eating the purple berries off of monkey grass (those of you who live in the south will know exactly what I am talking about, for all the rest of you, it is an ornamental grass the flowers like lavencar in the spring and produces these deep purple berries in the fall). I immediately freaked out in the dream, because I imagined the fruit to be poisonous. But Grey looked at me with his big green eyes and spoke to me, telepathically, "No, mom, it's okay. They're GOOD!" His voice was so sweet and gentle...I know that is how he would speak to me if he could...and, yes, I am crazy.

Time: 5:17 pm EST
Date: 10 October 2003
Reading: The Knight's Tale, Dr. T's memoir (or a selection from it)
Hearing: Cara Dillion's album
Inspiration: Full Moon

Entry: Mid-Term

The content of my brain has been recently dumped onto a page and turned in to my professor. I feel slightly violated in that my thoughts are empty, I've given them all to the page. It feels good in the same moment, because I was quite stressed this week as a result of the anxiety of studying for these mid-term exams and feeling that I could fit nothing more in my head. I believe I've faired well, but even if I don't I have a good foundation of high marks to stand on. They will help me in the recovery as well. But anough of that, on to more interesting things.

I should be in Hickory for a rehearsal dinner for my friend Kelly's wedding. Alas, I am sick, and I was supposed to sing at the wedding tomorrow, but with my voice not up to par and my lack or true preparedness, I won't be. So, I'm not going to the dinner tonight either, just because it is really for folks who are in the wedding, and I am no longer. I don't want to mooch off her finaces parents generosity any more that I am already. Apparently, they are footing the bill for a hotel stay for Eric and myself tomorrow night after the ceremony. I'm grateful for that, because the wedding is unusually late in the evening and driving back the nearly 200 miles from Hickory at night would not be wise, especially after a wedding reception/celebration. It should be a good time, and I will certainly tell all about it here in the journal for those who couldn't attend themselves. We know you are there in spirit.

The dreams have returned. With the moon they find their way between the cracks of the bedroom blinds and into my mind, illuminating all the dark and deserted places. I'm amazed by the things that make their way to the surface by way of dreams. I would never think these things in consciousness, not the most horrible nor the most fanciful. The mind is truly an amazing thing in its ability to manifest such scenes. I cannot remember the dream that woke me this morning, but I do know that it was bizarre and vivid. Perhaps tonight I will be more able to recall the scenes in the morning. I often think that I am going insane when I recount these dreams in my dream log, or to my love in the bed beside me. They are so strange, but they originate in me. I know, I shouldn't take them so seriously. But I do know they carry messages, lessons, stories that I am meant to be aware of and pay attention to. Even if they do startle me, give me pause to ponder the stability of my mind. It makes me wonder what I am repressing, what I am keeping from myself that these visions must grant me the forsight of.

Time: 8:41 pm EST
03 October 2003
Canterbury Tales, Handsome Lake and Samson Occum, "Confessions of a Pagan Nun" by Kate Horsley
Morten Alfred Høirup "Vingården"
Fourth Quarter


Entry: Writing Again

I had some free time tonight (imagine that!), so I cleaned up the webpage a bit. I've pared it down to it's smaller incarnation, taking out a lot of stuff that really didn't need to be here, mostly the really personal stuff. Obviously, since this is mostly a writing site, I've kept the personal journal. But a lot of the more detailed stuff is gone. I'm looking to totally overhaul the organizational structure, adding some things I've wanted to have for a long time (ie., a page for reviews of various media and websites, and all the stuff I've missed from 2000 till now poetry and song wise). That will be coming shortly, as I get time to work on it. This weekend and the following week are going to be really stressful for itineary follows-- This weekend: write essay for Chaucer class (and it will take the entire weekend until I am satisfied); Monday is sort of slack, just normal school and work at the library; Tuesday is the same, except I will have to study and make absolutely certain I am ready for my French dictation; Wednesday is the aforementioned dictation and a test in Biology (both equivalent to mid-term exams); Thursday another study day, this time for American Lit mid-term on Friday, but this is also the last day for submissions to Coraddi; Friday is my Am. Lit. mid-term, and I am going to try to leave work early that evening. Friday night is the rehearsal for Kelly's wedding in Hickory, NC, about a two hour drive from Hillsborough. Eric and I will be spending the night in Hickory and attending the wedding on Saturday before returning home Saturday evening. Whew! Busy week!

I am in the process of working on three submissions for Coraddi, my university's literary magazine. I have written something in the last few days that will go for sure, then I am editing a poem from earlier this year. Some of you know that I've asked for selections from my older poetry on this site (97-00) that might be good to edit up and send along as well. I feel too far removed from much of the work here, as it is not fresh to me anymore having lived with it for a few years. I asked for fresh eyes and I have received some very good lists. They will be very helpful in my selection process. Of course, I will let eveyone know what finally gets sent and provide copies of the works here for viewing at your leisure. I am writing more in my paper journal, mostly on campus during the breaks between my classes. That has been refreshing, as the journal was falling far short of the little goal I like toset for myself each year (that is, having one Mead 5-star, three subject spiral notebook full by the end of a given year, regardless of when I start it). I hadn't filled one section at it was August, so I got to writing. I'm well into the second section now, but I doubt I'll fill it by the end of the calendar year. That's okay, so long as I've tried. I you know, I begin the new year on Samhain (Hallowe'en) anyway, so it doesn't matter to me that much.

I had a wonderful coffee discussion with Dr. T. last Friday. We walked together to the coffee shop on Tate St. and he purchased my cup of black coffee with sugar, for which I thanked him. He said he had a few things he wanted to ask me, and we ended up discussing not quite everything in the course of it. He asked me first off about my practice of Wicca, and how I practiced it. He mostly wanted to understand my beliefs better, and be assured that I wasn't doing it cultishly. Of course, I understand his concern, simply because he didn't know all that much about it, except what has been portrayed of "witches" in all of the media. I assured him that I wasn't, that that time was over for me and this is simply what I am the most comfortable with as a spiritual path. Of course, this discussion led to how I managed to choose the Craft in the first place, and so I informed him about my rape, though not in great detail. That then led to discourse about my family and our history, in brief, and how I hadn't told my father about the rape until last November. Dr. T was shocked by that, as was my father. We spoke of our writing, our desires for our art and the horrible crisis in the publishing world--that being the staggering lack of anything really good being published. I'm ceratain it's getting written, the publishers just don't see it and refuse it, thinking they know what the public wants. Whatever. The subject of Eric's history arose and I shared a bit of that with him as well. I'm very comfortable with the man, and I find myself thinking of him more like a mentor than a teacher, though sometimes those feelings turn more towards thinking of him as a father. I'm in awe of his knowledge, and so I will stay beneath his wing as long as I am able until I capture what fragments I can in the time we have to share knowledge.

I will go for the time being. The day is wearing on me and my eyelids are tired of the computer screen, aching for the pages of a book that isn't for class...just for tonight.

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