Tuesday, January 1, 2013

new year

Misshapen pottery filled with smudge sticks filled with mugwort for dreams and shamanic journeying, and cedar for prayers and sage for cleansing and palo santo for stinking up the place. There is a turkey feather in it, and my friend calls it Southern Eagle. My husband and I make a board with pictures and words and a check we wrote to ourselves for the amount we want to save with a photo-shopped print-out of our credit card balances at $0.00. I made a magical wand this year our of rosewood and kunzite and crystal points. I wrapped sari silks with blessings around the wood, then tied knots. I held the prayers tightly over my chest, then blew like a whale, sending it off for crow to take for answering.

There was spittle mixed in there, and a little man whose boat I must have swallowed.

The palpability of this new year makes me want to bite a calendar, suck on its pulp, juice the awesomeness out of it. And I want it all now. I see a year of magic, healing, learning, release, visioning, goals set and goals accomplished. It feels different, already. I feel different. I bid 2012 farewell with a prayer for healing. On Winter Solstice I burnt all the things I wanted to release now--anything not serving my highest good, and then the specifics that screamed, "BURN ME IN A FIRE! LET ME GO!" I believe in the power or ritual and prayer and intentions and magical thinking.

2012 was about all the shit falling around me and me not losing my shit. I didn't drink or take hostages--emotional or otherwise. I joined circles, more than one, of women, and those women help me soar and love and be better. I checked my Android at the dinner table and cussed at drivers who don't use their turn signals. I judged things and people and gossiped more than I'd care to admit. My emails were still too long and wordy and I cannot stop run-on sentencing. This year, I aim for five sentence emails.


January 1, 2013, 10:30am. We go for a walk in the woods. The trees thin in January, like everyone except me. Their bones stick out in all directions, and I catch my sweater and knit hats on them. The thin ones are restless and irritable and eat nothing but cabinet crumbs. But not me. I eat small ships and calendars and new years for breakfast. Burp up harvested retreat days and fires and tarot cards left out for further meditation and explanation. Death. The Tower. And Five of Cups. Right in a row. It is the new year reading that shocks me again-- some change, transformation, catastrophe and grief for 2013. Metaphorically, I hope.

I thought about it as we walked through the sparse wood near our home. The houses hide behind the green and the lake in the summer. Now the trees look cadaverous, the cheap plastic toys in primary colors behind their meager branches like the gunshot that took them out, the stain on the rural identity they were cultivating on the internet. There is nothing to gather for supper but dried up gas grills and Christmas lights. The trees empty and solitary and sadly suburban. Spray paint arrows pointing to HELL and the smashed beer bottles I beg my children to watch themselves near. I kick a baggie that must have held some weed. There is an urban duck, head bare, like a vulture, honking and skittish around the dog. He flew too near the sun, he eats the carrion emptiness of the Starved Forest of the Strip Mallsley Land. 

It is New Year's Day, and the illusion is gone. We need to get out of here. This place was beautiful five months ago, and we pretended it made up for all the other suburban bullshit we deal with, like traffic and high taxes. This place is the illusion of woods and solitude. I want no part of the lies anymore. My daughter finds a lean-to and asks me who lives there.

Homeless people and gnomes and a raccoon with rabies.

I look up into the sky. It is gray. I beg it to rain. On me. Purgation and blessings and baptism. And let all this attachment to space run off of me, or I will have to burn it in a fire next December.


On our visioning board we cut out a huge headline that says, WHERE TO LIVE NOW, and another that begs for the "Freedom to Roam." Besides the hefty check I keep worrying will be stolen out of our home, there are pictures of mountains, of soil, Buddhas, rivers and hiking trails. There are words and phrases like nourishment and healing, {uncluttered}, gathering, creativity, find your balance, wisdom, peace, awe, mindfulness, loving speech and deep listening. In my 2013 INCREDIBLE YEAR! workbook, I write a list of 100 things I'd like to do this year. They are super-positive! Happy! Really awesome! BUBBLES! UNICORNS!

21. Climb a mountain!
28. Be SUPER frugal!
33. Eat super healthy (AND LOVE IT!)

They get less enthusiastic.

61. Dance to Hare Krishna music after dinner, instead of watch Real Housewives of Anywhere and eat icing off of cupcakes.
67. Ask less advice.
75. Make a backyard sweat lodge so I can be alone.
80. Cry when I need to, instead of stuffing it.

Hold onto what is good, even it is a handful of earth. I read it off my visioning board and I nod.

"You are right, wise Pueblo proverb. That is why I put you on there, to inspire me to be better." Yeah. I used to be a cynical bitch, jaded even. It creeps out here and there. It's all so hokey. Magical thinking and work books for my goals and visioning boards, but I need hokey right now. I need simple. I need to declutter. I've decided I'm checking email once a day, not carrying my cell from room to room. I'm not going on Facebook fifteen thousand times a day to read posts in my forums. I want to live in awe of spirit and nature and then figure out where to live now, and what to do now and how to do it now.

And maybe I will be here more because of it, or maybe less. What is your new year all about? Do you have goals, aspirations? Are you hopeful? Or not so much? Tell me about your process. Or just say hi.


  1. Take care of myself (eat better, exercise more, get massages)
    Write more
    Be online less, be present and connect with people other ways more
    Let go of anger

    I've recognized that being online is my big time suck. It's what gets in the way of me doing things and of me being present with what's happening in my house. You've inspired me to make a stronger commitment to limiting my online time. We'll see how it goes.

  2. I decided to do one project each month, but that's not really a major yearly goal. Mostly, my plan is just to try to get through this year happy.

    I hope your year is great.

  3. Angie, I admire your courage, and your drive so much. I am cynical and haggared and I spit venom on most things privately, spitting out "but my daughter died", I don't know how to be different.I want to be. You inspire me, not to be like you, but to seek what I need. Thank you. x

  4. I hope your year is a happy one, even if it isn't all bubbles and unicorns and the 101 miracles of organic kale. I intentionally set aside my magical thinking after Teddy died, but it sneaks back sometimes. And sometimes I can't help but welcome it.

    I am not resolving this year, just hoping, I think. But I'm writing the hopes down so that I can remember to act on them, at least sometimes.

  5. A big fuck yeah to this post, Angie. All of it. You're such a great writer.



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