Blood and Honey

Blood and Honey

person standing by a redwood tree

Hubby by a child redwood – only about 600 – 800 years old.

Last Christmas longest friend Linda (64 years!!!) gave me a Kindle book I asked for:  Blood and Honey Icons:  Briosemiotics and Bioculinary: The Pedagogy of South Slavic Women War Crimes Survivors Social Collective Practices.

Are you suitably impressed?

Amazon describes it thus:

Blood and Honey Icons are the representation of past and present life experiences, directions passed down throughout the millennia that speak of what space we occupy in navigating our journeys through our own lives. Biosemiotics adds depth to the pedagogy of South Slavic Female War and War Crimes Survivors Social Collective Practices.

About 10 years ago, in my middle 50s, I learned that I have a Slavic (Czechoslovakian) maternal birth grandmother when I wrote to the adoption agency my parents had used.  I learned of the agency when my Dad died in 1994.  I had always known I was adopted, but my parents told me Greek – and they were correct in that my maternal grandfather was newly immigrated from there.  But, being the person I am, I prefer to track via the maternal blood line.  Well, I don’t know which part of Czechoslovakia she came from since there no longer is a Czechoslovakia and back then they wouldn’t have thought to ask where, so I figured Slavic would cover some of what I carry in my gene line, hence my interest in this book.  Not to mention it mentions Social Collectives, Women survivors and symbols.

I’ve had the book almost a year and apparently only now is the time for me to make some sense of it, after several tries over the past months.  The writing is academic at best and too many run on sentences and jargon at worst.  Which is to say, I find it necessary to really pay attention and in some instances parse the sentences to figure out what the author is talking about.  Lucky me to have grown up in a time when diagramming sentences was still taught in schools.  I wasn’t good at it then, but I love knowing parts of speech and how they fit together now!   I digress (and what else is new?  It is, after all, Monday Musings blog day, so I am covered).

Which is all by way of introducing my musings.

Author Danica Anderson says:  Our hectic lives keep us from seeing and truly experiencing the physical landscapes around us, which in turn has blinded us to our inner landscape.

Musings:  Ah!  Why we should go on vacation!  When we are disconnected from a feeling of place, we disconnect from ourselves.  Many of us move around a lot of these days.  Sometimes looking for that feeling, sometimes never having had it so not missing it consciously.  I was born in Washington D.C., raised in Arlington VA, took a few years’ side trip to Fort Lauderdale, FL, where daughter was born, and have settled in Maryland.  Close the Chesapeake.  I have an affinity for water.  And mostly I like Maryland; however, Southern Maryland where I live is actually more like a part of the South and Virginia.  I was afraid of it at first, but this area has taught me that where ever there is a hard influence (think the South and some less than progressive Southern ideas, including good ole boys and the way politics run), there is a countering influence.  What a lovely discovery!  I do believe I belong here in Maryland, on a river or the bay or a creek or a pond, unable to see my neighbors because of trees, and wider open spaces.

step bridge over dry river landscaping

I have recently added a “dry river” with a bridge to my front yard. It is very zen.

I’ve been camped here for 20 years now, and love it.  But I think even though I speak to my trees every morning and every evening, and listen to their seasonal voices on purpose, I still miss *seeing* the physical landscape.  Maybe not so much right now since the physical landscape and I are in regular close proximity as I reorder my front yard, and add art all around, both of which birth in me an inclination to just walk around admiring what’s going on.  But still, there is an “i know what’s there” piece to even my enjoyment of newly changed spaces.

Which returns us to why we go on vacation!

Fog rolling in off the Pacific Ocean

Fog rolling in off the Pacific Ocean. Don’t like it? Hop over the mountain or up the road for sun.

Taking myself out of the known and comfortable, even if it’s changing, means going away so that my senses are all perked up from seeing things I’ve never seen before (DePoe Bay Oregon, whales, the convection fog from the interaction of ocean and valley).  I don’t know the weather or the sky or what to expect.  Well, they don’t either since the valley weather predicts the shore line weather but that’s neither here nor there for this discussion.  So I pay attention to the fog and how it is in one spot but not another, how we could sleep with windows open, how wet and green and brightly flowered that fog keeps *everything*.

And then a revisit to the redwoods (see picture above), which we have seen before, but which are ever amazing to me.  Wild and growing, of course they are going to change in the 10 years from our first visit, more healed from past logging scars, more land reclaimed (blessings to all those who fight to save and maintain these majestic wonders of the world), and a relighting of the passion their energy always ignites in both me and my husband.

And new art.  Anywhere I go I want to see what’s there.  Loved Port Orford’s art scene – small as it is, it is spectacular.  There’s Hawthorne Gallery, and 2 smaller not on internet that I can find.  I brought home a redwood mobile hanging from my new pergola in my front yard.

Audio is terrible but you “get the picture” in this video with Julie Hawthorne:

I also came home with a wonderful pice of work by Lida PenkovaGirl Power,  from the Sewell Gallery Fine Art in Eureka, CA where we went to look at Victorian houses

Girl Power by Lida Penkova, purchased from Sewell Gallery Fine Art in Eureka CA

Girl Power by Lida Penkova, purchased from Sewell Gallery Fine Art in Eureka CA

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Which is to say I came home filled with inspiration and vowing (as I have before when coming home from the West Coast) to look with new eyes at my own area, because people come here too for vacation.

I think I’ll stop here and take a breather.  Where have you gone that has opened your eyes?  Are you sleep walking or are you experiencing where you live every day?  Tell me!

Wylde Women’s Wisdom (yes, I’ll bring these back for a while too – I have missed searching them out and sharing them with you!)

“In many shamanic societies, if you came to a shaman or medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions:

When did you stop Dancing?

When did you stop Singing?

When did you stop being enchanted by Stories?

When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of Silence?

Dancing, singing, storytelling, and silence are the four universal healing salves and where we have stopped them is where we have experienced the loss of soul.”

~ Gabrielle Roth

About Tammy Vitale

Tammy Vitale's life’s passion - to make a safe place for women to claim their Hell YES!!. Discover more about her and her passion. She's published Shift , a book of poetry; a short story in the anthology Fearless Voices: True Stories by Courageous Women and numerous poetry chapbooks.

You can follow her and Wylde Women's Wisdom on Facebook or connect on Google.

Comments

  1. The upper Midwest is home to me. Minnesota born and bred. I remember how foreign it felt to me to visit Florida or travel out east or into Montana. It always makes you glad to be back home. But I have never forgotten the ocean or the mountains.

    Take that inspiration and run with it. I just love your dry river bridge, BTW. :):)

  2. I haven’t ever been to Minnesota or on the great plains at all. People who love it tell me it is beautiful…I’m a coastal kind of gal: give me oceans, the gulf and mountains (which leaves the gulf out), or rivers and mountains will work in a pinch. Funny how we acclimate to our space without even knowing it.

    I love my dry river bridge too. It was a last minute inspiration and the young man who made it for me had never made one before – but he got it out of my head and on to the ground perfectly!

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