Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Writing Retreat

Retirement.  No more 8 – 5 pressures.  Plenty of leisure time.  Perfect.

Except …. 4 months into my idyllic new life I developed some very annoying health issues (somewhat better but still not definitively diagnosed a year and a half later).   Then I had several (not too serious) skin cancers to deal with.  Then the chaos of getting our house ready to sell, the stress of it going on the market and not selling very quickly (with me having to come to terms with my ambivalence about making the move in the first place).  And now, on top of all this major Living in Limbo, I break a bone in my foot.  No driving, no swimming (the way I keep myself sane), and no walking for 6 – 8 weeks.  Not totally housebound, as I can be driven and have rented a knee scooter to move around on, but pretty close.

In an attempt to reframe my predicament and get past the self-pity, I came up with an idea while doing my morning pages – view the next 2 months as a retreat, a writing retreat.  Okay.  So, one of the ways I’m hoping to do that is by writing this blog. 

To be perfectly honest, I’m doing it for me.  If anyone else cares to read it, fine.  But I’m doing it because I need to do it.

Why am I calling it Hanging Out with Hecate?  Anyone who knows me well knows my love of the Persephone story.  (Really, If you haven’t seen my book of Persephone poems, take a look.  Max, my brilliant designer son made me a beautiful book.)  Hecate is one of the goddesses in the story.  She becomes the guide, the companion, to the young goddess.  In ancient Greece she was the goddess of the crossroads.  She became the goddess of witches. Night was her time.  In The Homeric Hymn to Demeter, my favorite version of the story, the description of Hecate does not make her sound as though she is a crone, although that would be tidy:  Persephone = maiden; Demeter = mother; Hecate = crone.  But I have decided that if she is not the crone goddess, she is the goddess of crones.

So, here at the crossroads I sit.  Hopefully, hanging out with Hecate.  Yesterday I wrote this:

Hanging Out with Hecate

I’ve been waiting at the crossroads.
I don’t know how long, but
            it feels like aeons.
This road?
That one?
It doesn’t matter much now,
            as I cannot walk either way.
My foot is fractured, and
            walking could damage it forever.
I rant and I rail, 
            shake my fists at heaven,
And then settle down again,
            waiting for Hecate to show.

This is Her domain, and
I need Her.
Advice, company, inspiration –
            I will gladly take
Whatever she has to offer.

She must come.
My need is fierce.

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