Flamekeeping, Cycle 5
Once again, it’s my shift to tend Brigid’s Flame with Cill Willow. This is the fifth cycle – I am amazed that we’ve been doing this for so long now. I actually missed one of my shifts; I somehow messed up my calendar and realized it the day after my shift was to have taken place. I was kinda bummed about that, and I didn’t write-up Cycle 4 here (though I did re-cap it in the Cill Willow group).
This cycle, I lit my flame late in the evening; I take a class with my family on Tuesday evenings and could not have a flame there since I would be otherwise occupied and unable to mindfully tend it. So I waited until I got home and this children were in bed so that I could devote myself to my flamekeeping duties for a while. As I type, my candle is next to my left hand, flickering happily in its little jar.
I thought I would write about some of the things that have been on my mind of late.
One of the things that’s happening right now is a communication breakdown in a couple of areas of my life. They don’t stem to me directly; but they both affect me profoundly. In some ways, this is a good thing. Anytime a situation like this happens, then I think that it ultimately can lead to a more open and honest place within the relationship or group. It seems that in the beginning, people are willing to overlook minor irritations and eventually it gets to the point where it can no longer be brushed off… and even then, people try to bottle their feelings about it up in order to keep the peace. But that only ends up with resentment and in-fighting, and ultimately leads to divisions and even greater hurt feelings. Since both of the areas of my life that this issue is currently affecting have people genuinely concerned with the well-being of both groups, I am hopeful that things will come to an amicable resolution.
I was thinking about how Brigid is the Keeper of the Hearth, and I feel like the groups and activities I am involved in are the ‘hearths’ of my soul – my involvement in the various activities I enjoy define me as a person. They are the things that drive me; the spark that keeps me going. They light my inner fire. I find both inspiration and fulfillment in my activities and hobbies and associations with them, and so even if it’s not a literal hearth fire, I feel like Brigid can be called upon to help.
I have also recently begun my third altered art book journal. Basically, you take a book – any book (I usually choose hard back books that have been withdrawn from the library and are sold super cheap with neat covers) – and make it into a journal. I generally leave the outside cover in tact, though I have covered one and painted it. One of the books I have is a books about movie monsters and the cover has a bunch of old movie monsters on it – Frankenstein, the Creature from the Black Lagoon and a few others. I also usually tear out some of the pages – a page or two every four or five pages. Since I collage and paint, doing that gives more room for the book to expand as I add to it so it doesn’t break the binding later on. Then I gesso some of the pages (or just use white acrylic paint), watercolor or otherwise start decorating backgrounds… or I just start drawing. I’ve done all kinds of things with them. Currently I am working on drawing, so that’s my focus at the moment. I’m not very good, but maybe I will get better!
Some of the recent ideas I have had have been more spiritual in nature – I like the idea of an ‘inner flame’, so I will probably work on that concept some this week. Maybe I will post a picture if it turns out well. I keep two journals – one for my practice/spiritual endeavors/meditation and dream records – and one that’s just a catch-all for whatever idea I am struck with today. One of my friends is very into meditative mandalas, so I have been working on some of those as well.