Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Life in the Dead of Winter

   Tomorrow will be New Year's Eve in human Western culture.  When I moved to Baile Eile from Cu Tailte as a young Faerie, I found it strange that humans, at least most of those in the Western hemisphere, celebrate the first day of the New Year during the winter.  This seemed entirely out of step with nature.  In Cu Tailte, the New Year is celebrated at the start of Spring.  This emphasizes the natural cycle of birth, death and rebirth.  Think about it. Spring is the time of new life. It is the time when most plants begin to grow and trees begin to flower.  Many animals are born in the Spring.  It is a season of new life, hope and promise.  Then that life comes to full blossom in the Summer and either is harvested or begins to fade or wither in the Autumn.  Winter is a dark, cold season when the trees are bare, food is scarce, and life seems to be buried  by the snow. Everything seems dead, but then in the Spring, color and abundance return to the earth. There is new life and new beginnings, a chance to start fresh.

     How strange, then, that humans celebrate the New Year in the dead of Winter.  Having spent some time now among humans, I've begun to realize that starting the new year in the middle of the season of dormancy is not so strange and is perhaps quite a good idea.  Winter can seem very long and sometimes it's hard to remember that Spring will come.  Celebrating the New Year, then, in the midst of Winter dreariness can be a call to hope and to the belief that, even in the midst of grayness and difficulty, the seeds of good things to come are being sown.  The song, "The Rose," points this out:

          "Just remember, in the winter,      
           Far beneath the bitter snows,
           Lies the seed that,             
           With the sun's love
           In the Spring becomes
           the rose."

     So, in the midst of Winter, as the New Year is about to begin, hope in the good things that will come to fruition this year.  Welcome the promise that comes with new life and rebirth.  Let go of discouragement and anything that keeps you in the darkness of winter.  You have the opportunity to come to new life, to start again.  What will you do with it?  What do you hope for?  What do you promise for yourself and for others?

I wish you a New Year of peace and joy.


*If you are new to this blog and are wondering who Keena is (since Christine Dorman is listed as the person who does the posts) she is a guest blogger.  Please see the posts "The Faerie Who Lives Down the Block" and "Culture Shock" to learn more about her.  And in case you're wondering about the fact that I have a Faerie as a guest blogger...she is a character in my novel Music of Dragons. Which isn't to say that she isn't real :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Undependable Human Magic--Technology

Although I have marveled at human technology (cell phones, computers and even televisions) ever since I arrived in Baile Eile, I have to say magic is more dependable.  Once you know how to perform a magical task, you can depend on using it effectively whenever you need it.  The only time it won't work is if you are not focused.  Even if you are sick, you can still use your magic.  In fact, it's when I'm sick that I appreciate my magical abilities the most.  I can clean dirty dishes by just saying a few words over them.  Works every time.

Computers, on the other hand, are not so dependable, especially in regards to the Internet.  It works often enough that I have come to depend upon it.  It works often enough that I am frustrated when it doesn't.  There are a variety of ways in which the Internet will suddenly become a road block rather than a path to information and / or communication.  "Can't connect to the website."  "Oops! The address no longer works." "The server has failed."  Then there are the times when the wind changes and there is no signal, no Internet access. Even when the Internet is available, there can be other problems. I've spent time carefully composing an email and have sent it off in the belief that I have communicated only to get a message the next day saying that the mail was undelieverable.  At times, picking up the phone is quicker--unless it's a cell phone and there is no signal.  Or the number, which I've successfully dialed before, comes up as a call restriction.

I use the computer for more than just the Internet and email.  I'm sure I'm not alone in this.  At this point, I have patient records in it, files containing my own personal information and a couple different calendars.  Also, I have written down many of the Cu Tailte myths and lists of important persons and events in Cu Tailte history. All of my music and many photographs and drawings are in my laptop.  Imagine my frustration, then, when the computer suddenly stopped working.  And I do mean suddenly.  I used it and two hours later it no longer worked.  I won't go into the details.  Suffice it to say, I was not only aggravated, but handicapped.  Abruptly I had no access to information and tools that I use on a daily basis.  Yes, there were alternatives. I could use the Internet through the computers at the library and use backup disks to view my patient files.  Even so, I felt the loss, most keenly in regards to my music.  Although much of the music on my computer was downloaded from CDs that I still have, I no longer have a CD player.  So I spent nearly three weeks without my music.  Music is vital to a Faerie.  Without regular exposure to music, our souls wither.  Not only did I quickly begin to lose energy, I became less patient and increasingly irritable.  A very bad condition for a healer to be in.

What I have learned from the experience is to have a backup.  Not just those disks or an external hard drive, but another way to save and access my music and important information.  I have discovered that I am more dependent on the computer than I had realized and so I am working on ways to return it to the status of  a tool rather than a vital necessity.

Oh!  I can hear some of you questioning why I didn't just use magic either to fix the computer or to make music for myself.  A gentle reminder: Faeries are not omnipotent.  Each Faerie has particular gifts.  It is possible to add to these by learning other magic from a generous mentor, but there is so much to learn that no Faerie will ever know every kind of magic.  I cannot create music magically, but since there is musical ability in my family, I have decided to learn how to play an instrument.  That way I can have music whenever I want or need it.  The instrument I've chosen to learn is the Irish whistle.  Fortunately I live alone.  No one should have to endure listening to me play at this stage.  The sound I am making is definitely not yet music!  Still, I trust that I will improve.  I found a wonderful tutor.  She gives lessons via the Internet--LOL!