Archive | July 12, 2012

It’s raining!

I love rain in summer when it’s been so hot. It sounds lovely and to make it better my friend came through surgery and showed improvement immediately which I guess is really rare.

It’s a good night.


Why does today have to be the day when we have no work to do. Usually that only happens during the end of the month check run but 2 days ago they ran out of things to do after 5 months of mandatory overtime. Hope that doesn’t mean the job ends early.

Isis’s & Nepthys Birthday

This weekend Temple of Isis celebrates Isis and Nepthys’s birthdays on the beach. At her beach, Isadora Dockweiler Beach to be exact, right under the flight path from LAX. Hopefully attended by as many priestesses as can make it on an early Sunday morning. I hope the dolphins come. I love it when they attend.

We always celebrate it as the ancients did when the Inundation starts as Sirius (Sopdet) rises in the sky again. This year it is on July 15/16 depending where you happen to be on the planet. It’s also the Temple of Isis’ birthday also known as the Iseum of Isis Pelagia or Sisters of the Sea. The Sisters of the Sea are also called during ritual, Isis, Aphrodite, Mari, Yemaya, Nepthys and Kwan Yin. I get to call Kwan Yin. I just have to think of something to say.

Laura always writes us a wonderful ritual and some of the parts are always the same, such as: Isis, how old are you? A priestess takes a mirror around and asks each participant: Isis, How old are you? And the participant must answer. Isis is as old as the sea, as old as the first lullaby or a baby’s first laugh. Isis is a old as love and as new as the day. We all answer in what ever way she speaks to us and through us. I always think it’s kind of a mini-oracle by what people come up with. I always try to think of something new but that’s not easy with so many creative women around. Maybe in light of the story I wrote this morning, it will be as old as love.

We always build a goddess mermaid of fruits and flowers and offer her to the sea. Have to have the Arts and Crafts portion and we bring flowers to spread on the tide. This time we are going to build an UBEKHET – the White Temple of Iset and Nebhet. Something new and different and we end as we always do with the Knot of Isis song while holding our red ribbon of Isis.

We’re supposed to bring sistrums but I don’t have one because I don’t like the sound so I think I’m going to bring my silver branch with bells that I received at my ordination. It’s lost a couple of bells because the leather got old but it has enough to make a sweet sound.

This is going to be good.

Mesut Iset, Qi en Iset

Mesut Nebhet, Qi en Nebhet

Sing like no one is listening, Dance like no one is watching and live each day as if it were your last

July 30 2005, was a nasty day. My sister and I were packing to go up for my brother’s next and hopefully last brain surgery the next day when we got a phone call from his partner, Scott. Cam was dead. I was so in shock I don’t remember saying anything I just ran upstairs and handed the cell phone to Alison and cried and tried to figure out what had just happened.

Cam had begged my sister and me to be there for the surgery so we’re going to be there when it happened. He was having another gamma knife surgery up at Stanford and since the last 2 had been okay I really hadn’t thought anything was wrong. I didn’t know how bad it had really gotten although I knew he had trouble speaking and was using a cane. I didn’t know they had set up a hospital bed in the middle of the living room for him. I found that out when we got up there.

Scott wasn’t doing well at all and there was a steady stream of their friends coming to the condo to check on Scott. Over that day I found out what had happened. Cam had seized to death in the ER at Stanford. They didn’t give him any seizure meds or any pain killers because they thought he was going into surgery the next day. The first seizures were really bad and it got progressively worse until Cam finally signaled to just let him go and he seized and died. Seizing to death is a gruesome and painful way to die.

He had had his first seizure almost eighteen years before while a bank manager for Coast Federal. It came out of the blue and while he was helping a teller at the front desk. Cam’s first words to me when I got hold of him were that Grandma had been right. He hadn’t done his laundry that day and hadn’t worn underwear. We both laughed over that but they didn’t know what was wrong. This was the height of the AIDS epidemic when no one knew the cause of AIDS and one stupid neurologist walked in found out Cam was gay and walked out again never to return. He was sure Cam had AIDS and there was no reason to even treat him.

It turned out he had an astrocytoma glioma , not they call them multiform glioma blastomas and are what killed Senator Kennedy. Cam was lucky enough to get in a clinical trial and underwent chemo and radiation therapy. I was one of his drivers as were several of Cam’s friends who did have AIDS and ended up dying before Cam was well. And my dad who had to sneak out of the house to do it.

The night Cam had that first seizure they called my mom for permission to treat Cam as the next of kin. My mom said no, and to go ask his partner. Not because his partner should be the next of kin but because it was one in the morning and she couldn’t be bothered to get up and got down to Orange County. I don’t think my dad even knew she had been asked. My brother never forgave her for that. Then when he was going through treatment she forbade Dad to go because she might need Dad more. So Dad, being my dad, snuck out of the house and did it anyway.

Cam went into remission and for 15 years had a good life. He got his college degree in Music – Vocal Performance. He had a BM, always good for a tease. He found Scott and fell in love and they moved up to the Bay Area. Cam got a job at Sun Microsystems. Took up Gay Square dancing, to my amusement since he never would even folk dance at choir family weekends at Carlsbad. Joined the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and went to GALA several times. And then he had another seizure and it started all over again 15 years later. This time the gamma knife was invented and there were more advanced treatments. The first time they couldn’t do surgery because they weren’t capable of doing it in the 80’s. He got better for a while and then he didn’t. They didn’t really know how to treat him because the doctors had never had anyone survive that long and one lucky break was that because he had been in a clinical trial they did have access to his medical records.

You see the problem with astrocytomas or multiform glioma-blastomas is that they send out fingers to spread. So you can get most of the tumour but there are always those little aggressive fingers left. Pretty soon all that is left his the aggressive parts. That is why that cancer almost always kills. It may take awhile but it will come back. It took 15 years to grow big enough to come back but when it did, it was voracious.

Cam insisted we come up to visit for a weekend the April before he died and I’m so glad we did. We couldn’t really afford it but he paid for most of it and I will treasure that weekend the rest of my life. I just wish I had had a camera then. It’s why I got back into photography. I’m never ever going to miss those important moments with friends and loved ones again. Even if you don’t like having your picture taken when you’re gone that is what people who love you will have to hold on to along with the memories of when those pictures were taken.

Never ever assume you are going to be here the next day. You might not be. Tell people you love them and tell them they matter to you. It’s all we have that’s really ours.

Prayers for a friend

Today is a hard day to be at work. A dear friend of mine is having a benign brain tumour removed. This makes me scared for my friend but also brings up issues I have about brain surgery. I know she is in good hands and she will be cared for well. And I know it’s good that the tumour is benign but and I’m afraid this is when my fear becomes about me and not her, because my brother died of brain cancer. Specifically what killed him was the swelling of his brain didn’t go down after a surgery and increased and caused him to seize to death before they could go in and reduce the swelling.

I want to keep myself concentrated on healing for her and not let my fear run rampant because I know too much about what can happen.

Brighid, hold her in her arms

Keep her safe and give her healing.

Kwan Yin, watch over her and keep her safe ‘

In your loving compassion.

Green Man, send her your clean healing power

Let only good growth proceed from here.

Athena, guard her brain and keep her wits sharp.

Let her thinking be clear and have no more headaches.

Hestia, keep her family around her safe

While she heals at home.

Artemis, protect her and give her your warrior spirit

Keep her fighting to get well.

Airmid, guide her healing

Give her strength.

Isis, let the Know of your sash works

Let there be deep healing magic.

A flame for Nancy

Every day and every night that I say the geneology of Brighid
I shall not be killed
I shall not be harmed
I shall not be put into a cell
I shall not be wounded

No fire, no sun, no moon shall burn me
No lake, no water, no sea shall drown me.

For I am the child of Poetry,
Poetry, child of Reflection,
Reflection, child of Meditation,
Meditation, child of Lore,
Lore, child of Research,
Research, child of Great Knowledge,
Great Knowledge, child of Intelligence,
Intelligence, child of Comprehension,
Comprehension, child of Wisdom,
Wisdom, child of Brighid.
Carmina Gaedelica edited by Lunea Weatherstone

May my words be as considered as poetry,
May I reflect on all I do or say,
May I meditate on those things important spiritually
May I seek to know more of the lore
May I research what I am curious about and what will enable me to grow
May I seek to know great knowledge,
May I acknowledge the intelligence of others
May I comprehend what I seek to learn and apply those lessons
May I know that seeking wisdom is not the same as being wise.
May I be a child of Brighid.

SelfBlessing is by me

Brighid, bean-oirdheirc
Lasrach grad
Fetaim lasrach soillse
Thoir cuireadh sinne
ris a’ bheatha

Brighid, Sublime Woman
Quick flame
Long may you burn bright!
You give us the invitation
to life everlasting