The Nine Blessings of Yule 2013 – Part 1

Godhian tradition for the celebration of the Winter Solstice – the Yule – is to present a gift for each of the nine days and nights that Odin/Woden hung in sacrifice to gain the Wisdom of the Futhorc that he may grant it to Man.

In it’s simplest form, the gifts take place as a daily surprise for our children or our loved ones. In it’s sacred form, the gifts take the form of a daily offering to the God for his unmatched gift that raised us above the beasts of field and forest.

Yet there exists a third form that few of my kind – and we are few indeed – come to truly appreciate. They are not gifts of ourselves to others; they aren’t part of our rituals. They are gifts, blessings, given us by the Gods throughout the year. Often unremarkable until seen in retrospect, others that shine forth brighter than stars.

In the past 7 days, during my battle with bronchial pneumonia, I have had an extraordinary opportunity to look back at this past year and discover those blessings given me.

Cinmouii & Tiggami

Cinmouii & Tiggami

The first, though sentimental and bittersweet, came with the loss of my darling Cinmouii. She was a quiet, loving and gentle presence in my life for many years – and the best lap-warmer the Goddess ever gave four legs and fur. When age and illness took her, my heart was broken. But Fate, ever the capricious mistress, decided that Tiggami and I should not mourn her loss for long. That is when Baal entered our lives permanently. One of the many stray, abandoned, and feral cats that I keep watch over Baal greeted me every morning when I came out to feed them. Black as night, sleek and beautiful, but ever so quiet. After two years of his morning greetings, his absence for three days had me worried. I had just lost Cinmouii, and I couldn’t think of losing his solace. Then he reappeared, in his favorite spot on the porch, but badly wounded and very ill with an infected bite through his paw.

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Four visits to the vet, and close to $600 later, Baal became an indoor cat thoroughly ensconced as the new “man of the house.” He is every bit as loving, gentle and quiet a presence, with the added bonus that he keeps to my daily schedule far better than I do. He infallibly wakes me 15 minutes before the alarm – even on my days off – knows exactly what path I will take from the bed, to the bathroom, to the coffee pot and then the food bowls… and guides me every step of the way. When it is bedtime, he guides me to the bathroom and supervises while I brush my teeth, take my meds, and then patiently waits at the foot of the bed while I get in and get situated. Then he gives me goodnight kisses, a brief “massage” on my shoulders, then curls up at my feet until he knows I’m asleep. Tiggami welcomed the assistance with her job as Pusservisor – she’s an old girl, now, and I seem to need a lot of pusservision… according to her. But she never has taken to him as her constant companion, and there was something still missing from our little family.

Then came the second half of the blessing… Tima. The fore-shortened, feminine version of her full name, Tiny Monster, this itty-bitty yellow and white ball of fur had been hiding under my neighbor’s porch where she’d been born about 6 weeks prior. Her mother had been killed by one of the many cars that race up my hill, and that day I came home to find my neighbor on her porch. She told me what had happened to the mother, and couldn’t I hear the kitten crying under the porch? Oh, yes… so I stuck my nose into the gap beside the steps and spoke to the kitten, putting my hand down to search for it. I could hear from the cries that the kitten was close. That was when I suddenly found my hand full of trembling bones and fur.

La Petit Monstre

La Petit Monstre

I took the crying baby to my chest and snuggled her close… and there she’s been ever since. No longer quite so tiny, but likely to always be the runt of my litter, she has managed to fill the companion role for both Tiggami and Baal – to be honest, it takes all three of us to keep her amused… we’ll never be able to keep her out of trouble, even if we were a platoon of Marines! She excels at terrorizing Baal, tormenting Tiggami, finding new ways to create disasters from rolls of toilet paper, and is a master of getting into places where air doesn’t fit. During this past week, as I battled to breathe and fought my way through cycles of fever and chills, she decided it was the perfect time to go into her first heat. Perfect timing. It was then that I realized that she was not only perfectly named, but that she was also the perfect successor to Cin’. She’s every bit the Whore of Babylon her predecessor was, with the added amusement of performing contortions across the floor, accompanied by what I can only assume is the Feline version of the 1812 Overture, complete with cannon and fireworks! Poor Baal… he thought for sure he was going to get him some sweet virgin ass, but every time he tried, he ended up with a face full of yellow fury. To quote the best drag-movie ever: “He’s so confused he don’t know whether to scratch his watch or wind his butt.” She’s a demon, she keeps Tiggami bemused, and she’s my constant shadow ever ready to curl up on my lap, on the pillow next to my head, or to remind me that whatever else I’m doing I must feed her FIRST!! Pushy wench. So the first blessing… to have lost one so loved, only to be reminded that our hearts have the ability to heal and there is always room to love one more.

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Samhain, the Time of Remembrance.

Samhain… the time when we of the Old Path remember our lost ones, when the veil separating the Living and the Dead thins to a whisp, when we meditate and give thanks for the blessings those departed gave of themselves to make our lives the wondrous things they were meant to be.

Carry their blessings forward, give them to those who come after you, and thank the Gods for the gift.

To all my friends, family and loved ones – past, present, and yet to come. Thank you. I remember.

In loving memory of Cinmoui

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For the past thirteen years you have blessed me with your sweetness, your gentle spirit, and your love. For so long you gave me comfort, companionship, and a warm, fuzzy lap. Your beauty, grace and quiet voice were a balm to a weary heart. Freya grant thee peace, Little One, Idun grant thee rest.

Cinmoui “Fuzzy Britches” Burkey, January 2000 – April 2013

Hands? There were hands?!?…

To be honest, it took Mommie Dammit a couple of viewings to notice… Hey! Stop that… like you were any different? Show me an innie with a delickalicious treasure-trail and I’ll show you a delightfully mesmerized drag queen. It didn’t even matter to me that he signed “I want to *coffee* in the car… and *shoes* all night” – I got the point. I got the point of the whole video. I only hope that the very fortunate boy this yummy child made this video for also gets it.

Sadly, as this clip makes its rounds of the Gay blogs, I’ve found plenty who didn’t. So many commenters ran with the “would we pay any attention to this if he was fat and ugly” meme that eventually Mommie Dammit snapped. I sank my talons into one unfortunate’s ass and proceeded to rip out chunks – only belatedly remembering to say that it wasn’t all aimed at him alone. My bad… sort of. Somehow I just can’t work up any real contrition for the act.

Here I am, enjoying the view, thinking how sweet this was and how fortunate the recipient was … and then this parade of unfuckable twinkie-twats starts pissing on my shoes. DAMMIT! All I wanted to do was smile at my child for taking the time and making the effort to learn sign language so he could speak to and hear the man he loves, I wanted to give them both a big Mommie Dammit squeeze for lifting my tired, shriveled, blackened heart and giving me a breath of fresh air after all the election bullshit… but no. Pretty-Young-Thing makes shirtless video! Cue the sour-pussed twats in 3… 2… 1…

All I could think was “when will you tired bitches grow up?” When will you learn to take joy in the moments life gives you without shitting on them? OK, so 80% of us who watched this vid did so because the boy is cute as hell and half-naked. So what? We got it! Now shut your flatulent pie-hole and let the grown-ups in the room enjoy it in peace and quiet.

Grace and Heroism…

After Carson Daly made his asinine remarks about gay people not being tough enough to have handled the bonkers Jet Blue pilot – which he later apologized for – I have to admit that I was half-way into my cast iron panties and bitch slapping pumps before you could say “Nurse! Stoli!!!” The throne room was in absolute chaos as I made preparations for a special trip to the set of The Voice, just to show Carson how tough a drag queen can be. After all, I’ve been assaulted 8 times in my adult life – 5 of those times while in full regalia – and ended up on the top of the heap, my dignity and skin intact, when the police finally showed up.

But then my feeder burped, and another mother – one with far more cause to be outraged, and one mustering far more grace and heroism than Mommie Dammit could under the circumstances – made me stop dead in my tracks.

Alice Hoagland, the mother of Mark Bingham, star rugby player and a hero of UA Flight 93, wrote a response to Daly taking him to task for his bigotry. The full text of Mrs. Hoagland’s letter is below the picture…

Alice Hoagland and her son, Mark Bingham

Dear Mr. Daly:

With your on-the-air comments [Wednesday] morning, you demonstrated an ugly ignorance. But [Wednesday] afternoon you also showed the grace to apologize for your odd remarks, as you should. I hope that now you’ll take the opportunity to learn about the gay community, and how diverse it is. Gay men and women come in every shape and size: short, tall, slender, stout, delicate, and powerful. They do not deserve to be stereotyped, nor categorized. Yes, my gay son was known in our family for bringing me flowers on my birthday and Mother’s Day. He also was known for careening down the rugby pitch, and, on the morning of September 11, 2001, for charging unarmed down the aisle of a doomed Boeing 757 to face knife-wielding Islamist thugs in a hijacked cockpit. No one among his pick-up team of fellow passengers was asking “Are you straight? Are you gay?” No one doubted that a guy who weighed 220 and stood 6’4” tall — who could run over a charging opponent on the field, and ran with the bulls in Pamplona earlier that summer — would be an asset to a desperate group trying to overcome a threat onboard an airliner. My son and the brave straight guys who fought alongside him weren’t able to save their own lives that morning. Terrorists plowed the plane underground during the struggle for controls. But Mark and his fellow passengers were able to keep UA Flight 93 from crashing into the U.S. Capitol Dome, and kept many people in Washington, D.C. off the rolls of the dead.

The world has its share of strong, heroic gay men. Gay men in sports uniforms and military uniforms have been winning America’s games and fighting America’s battles for a long time: quietly, humbly, and in the face of vicious bigotry.

I hope you and I may have an opportunity to talk sometime. I prefer to believe you didn’t mean to offend. Good luck to you.

Alice Hoagland
Mother of Mark Bingham
California Golden Bears Rugby, University of California, Berkeley
San Francisco Fog Rugby Club
United Airlines Flight 93 Newark to San Francisco 9/11/2001

Thank you, Alice. Thank you for your Mother’s wisdom, your eloquent words, and your beloved son.