Mirrored from Suns In Her Branches | Kiya Nicoll.
I didn’t do anything in particular to mark the Beautiful Festival of the Western Valley this year (25 May on my calendar) because I am buried under so much of everything that I barely know what month it is, let alone when the holidays fall. It did strike me, yesterday, how interesting it was that it fell so close to Memorial Day this year.
I’ve long described the Beautiful Festival as “a cross between Samhain and Mardi Gras”: the Veil is thin, the dead walk among us; have a flower garland, drink the good intoxicating drink! I’ve been doing some reading, quietly: stories about loss, of the beloved dead, of fallen soldiers, of others.
I’ve been thinking about Portland.
I’ve been thinking about the ways in which the modern pagan movement and the products of Naziism are two branches off the same oh so complicated tree, emerging from the same zeitgeist. I’ve been thinking about an “anti-monotheist” with runic imagery pulling a knife on people who tried to stop him from threatening two young women of color, one of them a hijabi, killing two of them and severely wounding a third.
(And I’ve been thinking about a young black man murdered by a white supremacist. A homeless black man murdered by another one. Charleston. The “mysterious deaths” of several black judges. I’ve been thinking, thinking, thinking.)
I’ve been thinking about how, when it’s a white man who does the thing, people leap to “mentally ill” and “lone wolf”. And I’ve been thinking about stochastic terrorism.
I don’t have a lot of coherent thoughts about any of this.
There’s a bit of European folklore, that takes a number of forms depending on the region, which may derive from older polytheisms: this idea that the Devil steals from us, takes away our harvest, our fertility, our hope. The Devil steals from us, with the help of those of the Devil’s party, robbing life from the world, and if we are going to live, we must ourselves go into Hell and take it back.
I think about that a lot, too.
The veil is thin. The dead walk among us.
In Flanders Fields the poppies grow.