A Crisis of a Son

Copyright 2017 Evelyn Zinn. All rights reserved.  All likenesses to real life places or personas is coincidental and should not be taken seriously.

I glared at my cell phone as it started buzzing on the table next to my bed. I had been awake for over three minutes before it went off. Gods waking up before my alarm always felt wretched. Made the day start off feeling slimy almost. I begrudgingly picked up my phone and hit the power button.

Just as I started to get dressed a text message came through. “Get your coffee ready. -Maxine.”

I blinked several times. I hadn’t heard from Maxine in a couple of years at this point. She’d ended up needing to take care of one of her grandkids full time as they didn’t want to go with their parents to an overseas job her son had picked up. I didn’t waste time.

When the call came through I was sitting on the front porch in my rocking chair, coffee in hand and enjoying the crisp morning air that the higher elevation of this cabin afforded me in October.

“Hey you!”

Maxine laughed on the other end. I suddenly realized how much I missed that alto voice.

“How’s the Mongollon Rim?”

“Creepy. You’d love it.”

She laughed again.

“I have a favor to ask. I need you to watch my grandson for awhile.”

“Ain’t he 18 yet?”

“Yes but there’s… rumblings going on. And he needs a sanctuary.”

I sighed.

“Rumblings eh? The fuckers are going to have themselves another Witch War?”

“Sounds like it. Hector is a Chimera, Claudette.”

There it was. The reason she needed me to come out of hiding a little bit.

“You need me to teach him the ends and outs? Can’t Josiah teach him?”

“He’s doing contractor work in the Middle East again.”

“Fidgety little bastard. All right, when should I expect him?”

“When’s good?”

“Well if he gets out here by next week’s end, he’ll be able to help me winterize everything.”

“Arizona gets snow?!”

“At these elevations we do.”

“You’re in love with that area.”

I just laughed and gave Maxine the rest of the information so that Hector could find the place.

“Claudette, the kid has a good head on his shoulders. Don’t let him get hurt too badly.”

“Don’t worry Maxine, the locals around here are actually pretty fair folk. They don’t get so damn petty as them out there.”

“Good to hear. I’ll be in touch with more details, right now I need make Hector remembered to pack a lunch for his job. Boy has been working construction since his birthday and is putting in 12’s.”

“Gee I wonder where he gets that from.”

“Claudette…”

“L8ter!” Click.

I may or may not used to have teased Maxine about the long shift she put in back at the shop. I had a similar shop here now, smaller but well received. I could put Hector to work in it and it’d help because I needed a second set of hands badly.

It had been five years since I left that area. I didn’t miss it.  Once The Great Nullification  had occurred, within five years of it the factions were having dick measuring contests. I might have only been 29 at the time when I left, but I had had enough. A wise witch works to keep her sanity. After a few years of genuine magic, you start learning a few valuable lessons. Some of which while painful are essential.  Like not everything needs a spell. Not every ritual needs cast, not every full moon needs a full circle and High Days can be celebrated with something as simple as a slightly more expensive bottle of wine and a special food you don’t normally buy.

You learn the painful lesson of what happens when you burn yourself out. Especially these days with spirits being able to be picky with who they work with again, if you burned up your reserves, chi, force whatever you wanna call it… you didn’t have anyone you could call on to get them to wave a hand and refill you. You were on your own. Healing that reservoir takes time and squabbling with other practitioners in magic duels was a good way to fuck it up.

Since the Nullification I had been in exactly one duel and that was to show why no one messed with Maxine’s shop. They’ve not had trouble since.

I was fed up after that and left. That’s why I was here, on this old porch, in these mountains. The land is old here. Not as old as the Appalachians I don’t think, but close. The land was calmer in some ways and the magic laced through its rocks and sand were tides to be reckoned with.

In short, home.

Now to be Hector’s home. I finished the coffee and poured a second cup. It would take me all day to ready his room and set up a space for his digital stuff as I had been using that part of the house for storage. Hopefully he doesn’t mind rusted desert reds. I hadn’t had a chance to repaint the walls yet.

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60-10-5

A while back I sat down and was talking about positive triggers.  I’m going to try to expand on that today. The reason why it popped into my head is because this past week, I got news that left me seeing red and thinking black. I can honestly and safely I did not consider harming myself…unless you count the mistake of drinking angry. Which BTW Brandy is most emphatically NOT the liquor to be drinking when drinking angry. Get some horse pis… I mean… light beer to drink. At least you’ll be full before you’re drunk or sick. (No ribs were cracked in the result.)

60-10-5.

This is something that is the culmination of a lot of reading, talking to other people who deal with the same or similar problems as I do. Let’s jump into this.

60 things/minutes:

  • 60 crochet stitches
  • 60 knitting stitches
  • 60 strokes of a paintbrush
  • 60 minutes of music
  • 60 minutes of your favorite TV show
  • 60 pushups
  • 60 situps
  • 60 pulled weeds
  • 60 strokes of brushing your hair (should have the longer locks)
  • 60 minutes reading a book you’ve read before (that way it’s easier to put down when the times up alarm goes off)
  • etc etc

The point is to spend 60 minutes doing something or do 60 of the same thing. If you do minutes of something, set an alarm. The point of the 60 is something long that forces you brain to reset. Forces you to calm down. Also rolls into the idea of a Zen project. A Zen project is a project you only work on when feeling anxious, depressed, angry etc. Can be any hobby. Woodworking, crocheting, embroidery, etc. Some of my zen projects have gone on to very happy owners after they were done. Which was basically icing on those particular “cakes”.

10 minutes/things:

  • play with your pets
  • put ten things away
  • spend ten minutes working on one thing
  • go outside for ten minutes
  • spend ten minutes gathering up trash and then throw it away.
  • 10 pushups
  • 10 situps
  • 10 dishes washed
  • pull 10 weeds

Again, same as with the 60. Only in a smaller chunk. You’re doing something productive. And you might only get one of those done in a day, but you’ve just accomplished a measure of control on your world.

5 minutes/things:

  • jumping jacks
  • crochet
  • knit
  • play with dogs
  • wash five dishes
  • five minutes in a room and clean something
  • sit down with a cup of tea or coffee
  • Organize a book shelf
  • sweep room
  • wash a window

Starting to see a pattern? Many of these tasks you’ll find you spend more than five or ten minutes on. Once you get rolling washing dishes many times I find by the fifth dish I’m checking over the drainer to see how many more I can fit in.

Many times I start sweeping and find I want to do just one more room, which ends up turning into the whole house sometimes. I’ll dust for five minutes. Add five stitches to a project over here, then another five to a project over there, and soon I’ve worked on five things and made a little bit of progress.

These are not hard and fast number triggers. These are what I’m finding are working. Some folks might want to adjust it to a 45-15-1 rule.

The point is to deliberately set out to do a thing. Do it for a set amount of repetitions or time. Oh hey look at that. You should took control in your life and have induced a measure of order.

When you’re working on yourself, sometimes the only progress you can make is in small steps. Especially if you’re one of those folks who works every day at a regular job. Your day might look something like:

  1. Wake up.
  2. make breakfast (five minutes)
  3. Make coffee (favorite cup)
  4. Make lunch (ten minutes)
  5. head to work
  6. get home from work
  7. Sit and chill playing pets (5 minutes work but I recommend ten)
  8. wash ten dishes
  9. make dinner and eat (60 minutes)
  10. wash ten more dishes put everything up
  11. check social sites (seriously start breaking that up into smaller chunks too!)
  12. room at random to clean something in

You get the idea. If you work from home like I do technically, set an alarm or timer or something so that you’re breaking your work up into 60 minute chunks. Take five minutes into between each hour and play with your dogs, stretch and just step away from the work in general.

Small steps after awhile when you glance over your shoulder, will have carried you a lot farther than you thought. Again, as emphasized in my last positive triggers note, you need to journal journal journal. Document everything or as much as you are comfortable writing down.

You’ll start noticing which 60-10-5 things work the best in taming an internal problem. Keep those things tucked away in the back of your mind for days that just seem to be out to destroy you mentally. On those days, give yourself permission to do 10 five things. Those are the days to limit it to small things until you’ve started to feel things calm down then do a couple ten things.

Make sense? I hope so.

Project 40

I’m currently spearheading a fundraiser. There is no gofundme page or any thing like that, I’m putting all sales from my Teespring store and my Etsy store towards this fundraiser.  Normally one might go yeah hey great, here donate, but our household has been the recipient of many kind donations over the past couple years.

So this time around, let me earn that money k? LOL

Jade Rose Zen ThreadWorks Etsy

Jade Rose Zen ThreadWorks TeeSpring

Thank you in advance for any shares you might make and especially thank you if you decide to buy something. I will be working on the Etsy adding some new things hopefully all weekend as I’m updating the photos for several of my listings.

 

Positive Triggering

Everybody has heard of triggers. It’s a term that gets aggressively over used by a segment of political identity to the point of nausea. Frankly, I’d like to tell you idiots to shut the fuck up. No, shut the fuck up and sit the fuck down. We’re going to talk about triggers today without the guest commentary from someone who is only repeating what they’ve been told or heard or read from their echo chambers.

For those of you going “Not a gun trigger?”, a trigger is a catch all term for multiple mental health problems that have a multitude of things that can trigger an attack or cause the problems to suddenly flare up. Triggers are no fucking joke despite the attempts of the idiots.

If you have a condition that deals with any trigger of any kind, you should be keeping a log of what they are.  You should be keeping track of EVERY SINGLE TRIGGER you find yourself experiencing. Triggers range from:

  • Not eating enough
  • Not taking your vitamins
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Misinterpreting what someone is saying as trying to give me an order
  • Someone not respecting when I say stop (every damn time almost, doesn’t matter what I’m telling you to stop over, if someone pushes, it’s a trigger every fucking time. And it’s fucking annoying.)
  • drinking too much
  • Not enough water
  • boundaries being violated
  • boundaries having to be re-established
  • being hugged without permission (this is a rare one because most people that do hug me I’m at a level of physical comfort with that it’s not a problem)
  • over socialization
  • too much loud sounds
  • sudden loud sounds
  • being startled (never funny)

Taking the power out of a trigger and mitigating triggers should be a priority if you deal with a mental health problem that has triggers as an impacting factor. I don’t know about any of you, but I like functioning.

Which leads me to my next point: Developing positive triggers that help you set your day in motion and keep it in motion. Call it a routine. Call it a coping mechanism. Positive triggers that you can use to counter act a negative trigger.

There’s a process to getting the day rolling. Coffee, putting on my jeans, putting on a bandanna are positive triggers I use to start my day, to trigger a shift into work mode and trigger a productive state of mind.

By developing a positive trigger, multiple; the quality of your life will improve to the point where you’re in more control of what’s going on. Mental health problems being turned into manageable problems that make day to day wrangling easier.

Just as you document your negative triggers, you need to document which triggers are working for positive effects. Journal journal journal.

What You Owe

According To Hoyt

Do not confuse “duty” with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect.
– Robert A. Heinlein

I found this Heinlein quote yesterday, while working on the article for PJmedia (I know most of my Heinlein quotes at a remove, because I first read them in Portuguese, so I need to check every time to make sure I don’t mangle them.) At first sight this resounds a lot with Mister Obama’s statement that “Sin is being unfaithful to my principles” — which given the changeable nature of the left’s principles means that “sin is what I feel like it should be today.”

Of course, that is not it…

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Basically….books of spells…

And no, I’m not talking about the published spells on the internet or in books. (I have my favorites but those are for another day.)

No kiddies we are going to be talking about your personal books of shadows, grimoire, spell book or whatever the hell you’re calling it.  We are going to talk about something that has really been starting to annoy me with some of the pagan fandom.

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This inexplicable desire to mock another person’s spell book. To tell them it’s too messy. It has to be neat and tidy and practical. That you have to have one at all.  Personally I’d recommend having at least a basic one with correspondences in it. However there are some folks who don’t have even a digital one but they still as magicky as I am, so power to you folks who can do that.

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Me I wouldn’t be able to remember my colors let alone moon cycles if I didn’t write it down at least once. And with the memory problems, writing stuff is the only way anymore to make sure I’m remembering correctly when I commit to a magickal action.

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Back to the main point, there is some petty ass shit going on with some of these bitches. They are forgetting a very key point: A person’s book of spells is very personal. It’s a reflection of who they are as an individual and as a practitioner of magickal arts. Sadly this tendency ties into some other blanket thinking that is harmful to the community such as:

  • demanding all practitioners be vegan
  • we don’t use weapons ever
  • it’s okay to curse everyone (seriously the amount of energy you waste doing that is repulsive to me. Just flip the fuckers off and move on.)
  • That it is not okay to have a shrine to a, b, c because “cultural appropriation REEEEEEEE”.
  • etc etc etc

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They engage in very collectivist thinking. They hate the people who are able to show their individuality with their spell books. They hate the people who are able to draw very lovely pieces of crystals into their books. That take the time to work on a page here and a page there, gluing in magazine cuttings or printed off pen sketches or writing very slowly so as to make it’s legible.

They hate that not everyone is using three ring binders, hole punched scrap book paper and bic pens. It smacks them in the face every time they see it that not everyone is doing what they think they should do.   Me? I’m jealous.  I admit. There are witches out there that are damn good artists and I am still practicing to be able to even get a damn tulip right. LOL

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You wanna know why Asatrau has become so damn popular? tumblr_otb5zutIUN1u6g8pyo5_1280

It’s not because of the shows. It’s because the faith demands your best and your absolute honesty about who you are.  It demands your individuality be true. Most Asatrau I know don’t have spell books and if they do, I’ve never had the privilege of seeing it as those are probably intensely personal and the kind of thing to only be shared with liked minded tribe. (Yeah there are bunch of dick heads who try to practice it because they also are nazis and that’s papa Hitler idolized however, they ain’t practicing it right and it ain’t the real deal that they are showing.)

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The tendency to demand conformity in any way in the Pagan fandom, is toxic. Period. It’s an infection from politics that doesn’t belong.

So folks, if you have a spell book, pimp it out. Get down with your witchy self in decorating it and putting things into. Cuz it’s a part of you and should show it.

Creativity peptalk

Or conversely where Evelyn tries to get several folks I know to stop feeling so bad about not being productive.

…. ready for failure? Cheerio, off we go.

Do you have your days mapped out? This is a serious question. Have you on days where you feel like you’re just not getting anything done, paid attention to everything you’ve done on that day? I’m going somewhere with this, sit tight.

Have you been honest with yourself about how much time you’re spending on social medias like Tumbler, Facebook, etc? Anything that is a social get together site. Have you been honest about how much you’re spending on it with yourself?

How about sitting in front of NetFlix? Or Amazon Prime? Or YouTube? Watching new things that require you to engage in the show?

When was the last time you spent all day just listening to your favorite albums through the years? ALL. OF. THEM.  and not shared them to webs?

Most folks by this point know I deal with depression and PTSD and anxiety daily at varying levels of intensity. Scary thing: I started seeing that if I didn’t have a certain type of music going that is very uplifting for me overall, being on social media sites was depressing.  I was starting my day with something depressing. Adjustment and counters were experimented with and I found that a station on Pandora based on David Arkenstone’s music worked.

So here is suggestion number one:
Don’t go onto social media immediately after getting up. Don’t scroll through with your first cup of coffee. Don’t even look at your email.  Give yourself about 15-30 and some folks you should give yourself even as much as an hour.  If you’re christian, make that your morning devotional time. If you’re an atheist make that your daily reading time of something of a book or go sit outside and enjoy it the day. Play with your pets, share a cup with your SO or make breakfast.
Don’t engage with the outside world immediately.

If you have online shops like Etsy, Teespring and an Ebay… don’t check it daily. Take and give yourself two days a week, they don’t have to be back to back, and don’t look. Leave it alone. That can act as a source of stress that will aggravate the rest of your shit and make it easier to lose control of your day.

Suggestion number 2:
Give yourself permission to take time off from your main and secondary sources of income or hobby. Literally ignore them and forgive yourself for feeling bad about ignoring them. You have to let yourself take genuine breaks.

Part of why folks begin to lose their productivity is burnout. Burnouts can be avoided. But you have to honest with yourself about your time usage. Because seriously, burnouts fuck over everything in your life. They affect everything when they happen and you don’t deserve to experience an burnout. No one deserves crashing and burning. You shorten your life with those.

On the days where you’re trying to force yourself to work, stop pushing so hard. If you have a story that’s been fighting you, back off of it. Go back to the beginning of the story and just start reading it. Do a little editing as you go, you may find yourself adding a paragraph here or there that just works better with the story and by the time you reach the current end you might have the story flow again and can add stuff to it. Punishing yourself for not being to write isn’t going to let you write (I speaking for experience on this and think this is part of the reason I’ve only one short story ( Nullifcation ) finished.  I had to give myself permission to take my time on it. I had to let myself ignore it for a few days and I re-read that sucker multiple times over to re-catch the flow.

If you crochet a lot or knit or sew a lot and have multiple projects ( I hope you made a tag for the crocheted and knit projects that has the hook/needle size on it!) add just a few stitches to all of the projects. Yes all of them.  Even if you’re only finishing a row or changing a color or just adding a few inches of stitching, you’re still accomplishing something.  You’ve made progress on all of your projects and you can set them back down and go on with your day with that bit of accomplishment to help you take care of your household and yourself.

I’ve been finding I have to give myself permission to not feel bad about having projects unfinished. I’ve been finding I have to give myself permission to be upset I can get the camera I want, or the dress form I want or the amount we’re lacking in our bank accounts to step up everything I do.  I have to give myself permission to let that annoyance go.

Suggestion three:
Give yourself permission to be annoyed and then let yourself let go of it. If you’ve run over in your head the situations a thousand times over, one more time isn’t going to show you what you might have missed. Deliberately set projects aside. Mentally see yourself looking at a project and saying “I’m going to take a break from you. It’s time out for you.”

Putting things on the back burner, does not equal giving up on them. It means you’re taking a break and your sanity and creativity will thank you.

 

When Sanity Hangs by a Thread.

Sit down.

We need to talk.

Pour something. There’s chilled everything because this is Arizona in the summertime. We don’t do not chilled right now.

I’ve recently come under fire in messages for my work. The crocheting and tshirts, but specifically the crocheting. Specifically why that’s my thing and why I talk and post about it as frequently as I do. The store on Etsy and the attempts to set up exclusive swags.

Yarn hack. Whore. Worthless. Lazy. Too submissive of a female for my own. Stupid. I’ve had the full gauntlet of attempts at insults thrown at me. From all sides of all types.

Those are the common things. There were a couple that made no damn sense because I think that person was drunk on liquid courage. Seriously, stay off sites that aren’t movies or music if you’re drinking heavily.

Let’s get one thing straight.

This.
is.
what.
I.
CHOOSE.

And if you think I’m going to let go of one of the few skills that I have and that I do well enough to actually feel comfortable being semi-arrogant in my level of talent you are as stupid as you are blind.

I’m not going to back off from crocheting or knitting or doing anything creative. I’m not going to stop working with one of the things that helps make time pass. That helps in a lot of small ways and always add up to something big in the end.

My sanity doesn’t ride on your opinion of my craft. My sanity and ability to function ride on me and me alone. There are literally projects all over the house damn near that I have set up specifically to make taking care of this house easier. I don’t want to sweep? That’s okay, I’ll do a row on this blanket.

Dishes? I have this coat project I can add a row to.

Crocheting is a way to pick up momentum for the express purpose of getting things done. It’s a labor of love and an addiction to the satisfaction of holding something in my hand that I made. Something I brought into existence. This is why creatives suffer at the hands of the uncreative. We bring things into existence. The uncreative know they will never feel that satisfaction.

Which is I don’t spend time on insults normally. But with us having had a hit to our financial situation, I pushed the Teespring hard on FB, which seemed to just unleash a torrent of BS.

*shrugs* I am the bigger person most of time. So as far as I’m concerned, you’re not worth my time.

I’ve a crocheting technique to master. This is the last time I will ever acknowledge any small minded criticisms of my work.

 

 

 

Nullification Part 8

Copyright 2017 Evelyn Zinn.
All rights reserved.

In the ten years since the Great Nullification as it was so unimaginatively called by the communities at large, various enterprises fell apart across the globe. Hotels, old abandoned mental hospitals, restaurants, churches, etc reported lessening’s in the hauntings every year until about three years afterwards they reported zero activity. Old war battlegrounds ceased to be places were the dead wandered in vain. Places of atrocities held only the plaques and stories now. For the first time in several hundred years our world’s Spirit boundary was clear and rejuvenated.

I couldn’t have been more pleased. For a long time, spirits had been called to dance on demand but only the Gods of Old and New knew for how long exactly. Most people now after six or seven years only rolled their eyes at the psychics and the palm readers. To go talk to one of them was now purely for entertainment.

The awakening of many coma patients happened as well. Several described it as though they had been trapped and then a path, an epic journey that had brought them back. Some of them had even gone to write these journeys down and they truly are epic stories. Many though accepted the choice to finally be able to let go and move on.

And that thing my grandfather asked for? Well, that was making the path clear to find the one you hoped to after reaching the Spirit World. The last time I saw him, was a very clear vision of him finally being able to stay with Grandmother permanently and watching them move to the Beyond.

Many practitioner’s say it was like walking a giant dump for several years but soon it became the focus of many to clean up the place. Most I think mistakenly thought if they cared for the grounds the Spirits would come back. These days there are rather lovely gardens and small houses with no one in them. I still look around there at times and wonder why it had come to this to get them to take care of this place.

Most would never know. The Spirit world was once again now what it was in the distant past. Merely a place of roads and paths to the Beyond.  What was the Beyond? Whatever the person choose. However the Spirits…were never coming back. Now one had to pull from the well that was inside themselves.

However, there had formed a new order since. Guardians for a lack of a better word. During the clean ups, many found horrible traps that had been laid years, decades, centuries ago by the greedy and the power hungry. Traps that sealed spirits of myth and humans alike. Many of the Guardians had been those who found these traps and bore the scares in the real world of having seemed to age a few years over night.

Ours was a thankless work. We kept an eye to ensure no more traps, no more quicksands, no more lost ones. We lead from the shadows if only to keep the majority distracted from the sins of our collective pasts and families lines.  We all knew, those of us who walked this world in our dreams it would be a hard battle. To punish those who would seek an old entrapment meant dealing with them in the real world. That had to be subtle as well. The agreed on prediction was that we’d be able to keep it empty and clean and safe for those Passing on…but most likely only for a couple of centuries.

As for Maxine, myself, Rosscoe and Marcus in the real world not much changed. Maxine decided after her circle finally dissolved that it was time to treat herself. She took the kids and the grandkids on a Disney Cruise. Two of them back to back. One on the Atlantic and on the Pacific. Then her and Rosscoe went to Japan for two months and then South Korea and I think you get the picture. Her and Rosscoe traveled together for a good three or four years. Then Rosscoe came back and co-managed the store with me while Maxine just kept on exploring.

Marcus moved back to his home city and built a new business with his family, one that relied on the skill of storytelling. They tell the tales of old hauntings and speak a blessing to an unknown cause for things finally quieting down so that the living can live.

Me? I still live out on the property though these days with a proper farmhouse. Maxine let me do with what I wish with the place and because of it’s connection to the store (which is going as strong as ever) I started branching out a little bit. Maxine wasn’t happy about the news of the Alpaca herd but it’s been four years. I think she’s forgiven me by now. The workshop was ever busy and in the past couple of years, two apprentices joined me at the property, grandkids of Maxine.

We were ever kept busy now with mundane things now that the Spirit world no longer needed constant curtailing and tending. It was a wonderful thing really. The peace and quiet was a joy that many didn’t realize they had needed.

I was spending Halloween as I did every since then, quietly and out on the porch with a spinning wheel. With it, I could see everyone and how they were doing. Today I was checking on Maxine. She was hanging out in an old cafe somewhere and writing furiously on her laptop. She had take to travel blogging and was happier than a clam.

She paused for a moment and looked straight at me, winked and went back to work.

Yeap. Same old, same old.

Nullification part 7

Copyright 2017 Evelyn Zinn.
All rights reserved.

The lake I chose was way out in deep countryside. Most of the roads to it were primitive roads and in the winter time were off limits to non-appropriate vehicles. I arrived two days before the solstice.  There was no one else out here.  I was alone and in two feet of snow. There was a very specific way that the fires had to be laid out and set up to catch fire by a mechanism controlled from the shore. This was the piece my dad had for me. A way to safely be off the ice.

It was eerie out here. There was no wind, no winter birdsong just cold crackling silence. I had to bring the firewood with because of the snow. It took most of the two days and almost all of Winter Solstice to get everything set up. The bowl had been set dead center. I had taken a rope and made a perfect circle around it so as to be able to place the firewood and journals as perfectly as possible so that they would crack the ice and send it all to the bottom.

Part of the work was just getting enough tinder and kindling ready. My mind wandered many times during this process back to the conversation my father and I had had. Apparently my mother had tried to rekindle the relationship with him but he wasn’t having any of it. He’d found a woman who loved many of the same things he did and had introduced him to a few new hobbies. Yes my father was a craft monkey just like me.

I showed him the chest, the shelves, the entire workshop that had sprung up over the course of this. He nodded approvingly and had told me to be expect a 3D printer to arrive in the springtime some time. I could use to start making things for the store on order instead of ordering online and waiting for it to ship and arrive.

I had everything except the kindling and tinder on the woodpiles. The wind had picked up for several hours on the day of the Solstice and I watched it from my truck camper anxiously. It looked as though the weather had decided to intervene but just in the last hour that I had left, the wind died to a standstill. I’d never mastered ice running quite like I did that night or have I since. I still busted my butt at least once getting back to shore, but didn’t hesitant to hit the switch.

With a pop twenty six piles of wood sparked and ignited. The gasoline soaked pages aided.  I sat down on the shore and watched, singing the song my grandfather had told me to sing. After what only seemed a few minutes the fires broke into an almost perfect circle through the ice and the piece flipped over, the bowl sliding in the dark waters below.

I watched the cracks radiate in all directions and glanced at the night time sky. The stars seemed brighter and clearer for some reason.

The next morning found me packing camp quicker than I wanted to. We had another blizzard bearing down on us and I made it back home with ten minutes before it hit to spare. Maxine ordered me into the tub before I could even speak and had a hot meal ready for me once I was out.

I told about how it went all down and she smiled at me then gestured towards her spinning wheel.

“How long will it take for everything to complete?”

“Once the clay has dissolved in the water, it’ll take three years for everything to come to fruition and wrap itself up. Nice and gentle and no one will be able to ever trace that magic back to me.”

“Will it be enough?”

“Only time will tell.”

“Time.  Time is one thing that has both hindered us and aided us.”

“At least it didn’t betray us with this.”

“That leaves the last journal.”

“I don’t think so. See the person who took it I narrowed down to two individuals. One of them has vanished completely the other is so far down on their luck that I think they’re a homeless person in Denver now. Either way, we don’t have to worry about them or that journal. I’m fairly certain it’s been lost, destroyed or used for joint wrappings. Either way, it’s not a concern we should be having.”

Maxine sat back down at the spinning wheel and began to finish the bobbin.

“What about the workshop?”

“Keep it. Keep making things with it. The store now has it’s own craftmans shop.”

Maxine started laughing.

“Yes, yes that it is a good use for it. We put it together to save our cousins in magic and we shall continue to use to support our local community. I think I like this practical way of thinking.”