Wednesday, March 19, 2014

ABC Wednesday - J is for Jakers!

It's ABC Wednesday and J is Jakers! for me.

When Lucas was little, we used to faithfully watch a TV show called "Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks". We loved it so much we didn't mind watching the frequent reruns, as they were always worth it. We would cuddle on the couch together, and for half an hour we were taken to another time.

Jakers! is about the life of a smart and witty 8 years old little pig called Piggley, who lived in Ireland during the 50s with his parents and little sister at their Raloo Farm (they reproduce the gorgeous Irish landscapes with an adorable touch of old style). He has two loyal friends: Ferny, a little bull, son of Don Toro, a big and very sweet blacksmith, and Danna, a smart, teasing little duck who loves reading and lives by a pond with her grandmother. Together they have the funniest adventures, always inspired by Piggley, a natural leader whose imagination is endlessly rich. They go to the local school, and their teacher, a brilliant, serious goat, tries every day to open their minds and teach them to have integrity and to have a good character.

The interesting thing is that Piggley's adventures are told by himself as an adult in present time to his twin grandsons, granddaughter and his daughter, with whom he lives in the USA. Every time his grandkids start fighting over something they disagree, he comes up with a story from his childhood related to the kids' problems, and brings them a moral lesson in the sweetest way.

As a kid, Piggley and his friends are always involved in all kinds of funny - sometimes moving - situations, and he is the one who convinces his friends to live their life to the fullest as all kids should do, enjoying their days and nights in between their daily chores. He loves myths and legends, and often follows his heart to reproduce or confirm something he reads in his books, which guarantees lots of fun moments.

My favorite character was Willey, an absolutely hilarious sheep living in Raloo Farm (originally voiced by no one else but Mel Brooks). He is the only talking sheep among its flock, and he drags them to the most absurd situations, believing they can be more than mere sheep eating grass. His dream is to go to Broadway and become a star, so his failing attemps to make his fellow friends to join him in his enthusiasm for dancing and singing are priceless. I was always looking forward to his appearances.

This cartoon has so many nuances to the storytelling, with a delicate approach and beautiful, fun metaphors to the situations kids may face in their lives when they must decide what's the right thing to do. It's all about friendship, love, integrity and being faithful to your heart.

We would always talk about the episodes and I used to love getting to know Lucas' response to them, and how he would react in the same situations. A great chance for him to learn about right and wrong, in a really fun, cute way. It's perfect for young kids and grown-ups young at heart.


To read another cool J entry, visit my dear favorite author, at Under An Outlaw Moon.

To read more great ABC entries, and if you want to join the project, visit the meme's main page, and have fun! :)

Friday, March 14, 2014

ABC Wednesday - I is for Indecision

ABC Wednesday was two days ago, and I was Indecision for me.

I'm so late, but do you know when you get stuck and simply can't choose anything to write about, no matter if you made a huge list of possible words? That's me this week on the ABC Wednesday. 

I could blog about some interesting people, like Isadora Duncan, whose biography I read when I was 9 and in ballet classes. She impressed me so much I wanted to dance like her, barefoot and with only some ethereal colored cloths covering my body - highly discouraged by my ballet teacher...

Or I could write about Isaac Asimov. His books were a fantastic source of awe for my childish mind, who made me love sci-fi stories, and helped me to learn how to analyse right from wrong and how tricky situations can get to the point of making you wonder what's best for you and others...

Or I could talk about Imaginary friends, like when you're deep inside the virtual world and lost friendship is a click away, erased from your life because of moods, different opinions, or lack of contact without a word. Sometimes respect and patience are luxuries in the virtual world...

Or about the Impeccable service my sweetheart and I had at a local restaurant where we used to have lunch while he was here spending Summer with me. The waiters were gentle and super efficient, the food was delicious and their Internet connection was basically perfect (my town doesn't have a First Class connection, alas).

Or Indiana Jones, the cool, incredible hero and his fun adventures, who helped an entire generation go through their teen years.

I could talk about Ice creams, Islands paradises, Insights, Intercourse (mmm...), Intelligence, Incubbus, Impressionism, Imagination, Inspiration, Innocence, Instinct... So many Ideas that makes my Gemini soul Indecisive.
It's better to end this post here...


To read another cool I entry, visit my dear favorite author, at Under An Outlaw Moon.

To read more great ABC entries, and if you want to join the project, visit the meme's main page, and have fun! :)

Friday, March 7, 2014

A day at a time

I had this saved as a draft to publish today, but Tim posted his ABC Wednesday, showing the other side of this issue, that I'll reblog after this part:

I'm reblogging Tim's post here because he gives an important perspective for those who, like him, suffer with depression. I've been following his struggles against the Black Dog since I started reading his blog a bit longer than a couple of years ago. When I fell in love with him and became his girlfriend, I naturally wanted to go deeper and learn everything I could about depression and everything that encompasses it - for me it's important to understand how this terrible illness affects his mind and soul, and how he deals with the world:

"As I write this, it is late enough Thursday night that it’s Friday morning. I had a long, dreary fucking day, the depression kicking my plan to be productive right in the crotch, and I napped quite a bit. I’m not getting enough writing done. I’m not exercising enough. I haven’t finished cleaning the Byrdcave.
But, that’s progress. If I’m not getting enoughwriting done, that implies I’m getting somewriting done. If I’m not exercising enough, that must mean I’m exercising at least some. And if I haven’t finished cleaning the Byrdcave, that would mean that I did start cleaning it. And all that is true, though it’s weak tea for a guy who is really trying to pick his life back up after it was stomped flat by the black dog of depression.
Anyway, lots of napping during the day leads inevitably to being wide awake when it’s so late that it’s early. And I’m feeling pretty good. I started playing God of War: Ascension, which got my blood moving, and now I’m listening to great rock ‘n’ roll, dancing like no one’s watching (I’m actually quite good at that), and singing like no one’s listening (not quite as good, though I won a singing contest in a bar in Spain one time, long ago). Mark Twain would be pqroud."
 This was written when he was feeling stronger, and you could see his wonderful soul shining so bright. To read the whole post, click here.

But these last days the awful Black Dog has been taking the best of Tim's days and nights, and he posted this poignant, heartbreaking article at his blog today:

"Do you understand suicide?
I do. I don’t want to do it, but I have it on my list of options. Worst case scenario sort of thing. This is because I have chronic, often debilitating depression, and it often makes me doubt I have the ability to maintain my life for its natural duration.
Lose the people I love, not able to take it? Suicide’s an option. Don’t sell enough books and fall into poverty? Suicide’s an option, better than living in a soggy box under a bridge. Fall into a permanent depressive funk in which I can’t even take care of myself day-to-day (which is what started to happen to me last year, which is why I re-entered therapy, got back on the meds, and had electroshock therapy for the second time in three years)? Suicide is always there.
It’s like the cyanide capsule hidden in my molar, ready to be crunched in dire circumstances.
Not a day passes that I don’t think about it, at least in passing. It’s a bloodsoaked thread woven through the fabric of my life, not dominant but always dripping. It’s been this way for years.
Do I think I’ll do it some day? No. Would I be surprised if I did? No.
So yeah, I understand suicide. It is dark and terrible and fucked up, but it can also be practical. Or at least seem so to a mind in pain.
I tell you that so that you know I’m talking to you from the darkness. It can be tough to tell most of the time, because I’m largely a low-key yet upbeat guy, forthright about my problems but not whiny or melancholy or gloomy to be around. But I live in the darkness of this disease, and I speak as something of an expert. And the thing I want to tell you is this:
Help them.
If you have someone in your life who suffers from depression:
Help them.
One of the hardest things to do is to ask for help. I will go days without doing the dishes, or taking out the trash, or going to get the mail, or showering. I’ll avoid the phone and not answer emails. I am utterly useless during those times, and I am mostly without hope. During times like this, I lose all my faith that I can do the things I want to do with my life. I think of the places I’ll never go, the people I’ll never get to hang out with, the books I will never be able to write, and I despair.
I hate asking for help. So I don’t. But I need it.
So, if you know someone with depression:
Help them.
I think there are many lives lost that may have been saved had the people who cared about the folks in pain actually found meaningful ways to be there for them. It can be a burden, yes. But if you care for them, you won’t think of it in those terms, or at least won’t let them know you feel that way. Help them get the professional assistance they need. Cook them a meal every week. Help them clean their home (even little things like taking out the damned trash can make a difference). Talk to them, show them you care about them, show them you have faith in them.
Help them.
You may just save their life."

This is the hard daily life for depressed people. It's a roller-coaster, when some days you may see the light at the end of the tunnel, and some days you simply can't feel the ground under your feet. I want to reinforce what he just said. If you truly love someone with depression, be there for them, even if it seems like your efforts and your presence are useless, if you think that your warmth and love will not help (sometimes I feel that way, especially being so far away from him most of the time, but I ignore it, because I believe it's not true): constant doses of love always help, and it's a welcome caress in their hurt souls. Be the caring, stable hand, their shelter, never give them up. Those we love are such wonderful, sweet and unique people to be with, no matter what they think about themselves when times are hard. We know better.

The Black Dog eventually goes to sleep for some time, and the ground can be firmly felt again under your loved ones' feet, and they will want to celebrate the good days with you - and you will want to be there to dance with them, until they need you to build that warm, loving nest again.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

ABC Wednesday - H is for Hecate.

It's ABC Wednesday and H is Hecate for me, and here is how She got into my life.

In brief, She's a Greek goddess, daughter of the Titans Perses and Asteria. Goddess of Crossroads, birth & death, challenges and struggles, witchcraft and magic, ruling over the earth, skies and the sea. For many people, She represents the Triple Goddess - Maiden, Mother and Crone. Powerful and determined, a deity not to be taken lightly.

When you're pagan and practice regularly, you may start getting attached to a specific deity when doing your prayers, spells and rituals. One you feel connected to, who represents the guidance, protection and strength you need, or whose characteristics you can relate to, or both. It's a powerful symbol for you to focus on, to make the connection between this world and the spiritual world easier to be established. Each pagan goddess and god have a beautiful myth to explain their origins and  power.

Hecate was not an instant choice for me when I started walking my path. Due to my own nature, I tend to lean to "more cheerful" deities, and in the beginning Gaia (representation of our Earth) and Brigidh, the healing and creative goddess, were closer to me - and still are. My favorite male god has always been Cernunnos, the protector of Nature, among other things, for his comforting and imponent, sensual guiding figure, who always gave me this feeling of being in good hands when summoning him.

My patroness goddess had a long way to get to me. As I create hand-embroidered pagan dolls in felt, I'm constantly challenged by customers to create deities from different pantheons I'm not familiar with, and studying them is a source of delight for me. Knowledge is never too much. In contradiction, I consciously avoided contact with the concept of Hecate, not wanting to aknowledge her existence in a closer way. I was scared of her power and direct connection with the Underworld and Death, that in my intentional ignorance was all I knew about. Contrary to my innate curiosity, I avoided researching about her, only having occasional glimpses when reading references related to other myths. So I had a stupid misconception that kept this beautiful deity away from my life for a long time.

But a few years ago a friend ordered a Hecate from me, and I finally had to go deeper on my researches to make an appropriate doll with the right symbols. And my misconception started to be broken. Other people loved the doll and ironically She became a hit.

At last, three years ago, I got a big order of 30 Hecate dolls for a pagan event, and I was surrounded by her amazing energy for weeks on a daily basis. Day after day I brought her to life under my fingers, embroidering her symbols (torch, key and Wheel) and at each stitch, my irrational fears were gradually taken away, and my respect and love got stronger. Having one of her favorite animals, a black dog, constantly crossing my way in the streets during this period just added in a fun way to the fact that I had my patroness goddess almost begging for my attention - just, She doesn't beg. Somehow I think She was gently pulling my ear and telling me to stop being so childish in my apprehensions about her.

And that's how I surrended to this incredible goddess, and She became part of my spiritual life, making my path richer and deeper with Her powerful symbolism. Now I know I'm in good hands when I summon her. :)


To read another cool H entry, visit my dear favorite author, at Under An Outlaw Moon.

To read more great ABC entries, and if you want to join the project, visit the meme's main page, and have fun! :)