For the past two weekends, I have felt like I have been running at full speed the moment I left work, right up to now – late on a Sunday night…and felt like I had accomplished very little. of course, each weekend has held a little something that has set my entire weekend a little off kilter. This weekend, for example, started off with the reminder that Saturday was Pagan Pride Day over in Arlington, TX. Having resigned a scant few weeks prior from the Organizing Committee, I braced myself for a piece of the unknown – and found myself able to partake in things I had not the prior year. I spent more time talking with people I had not seen in quite some time…and even got the chance to catch three workshops.
All of that; however, was over-shadowed by what had happened Friday evening. The college that I work for has a few athletics teams – and one that we are all very proud of is our Ladies Softball team. On the way back from a scrimmage in Oklahoma, their bus was demolished by an 18-wheeler that crossed the media from the north-bound lanes and smashed into the bus (in the south-bound lanes) and careened into the woods. Four talented, young ladies lost their lives. Tonight, Sunday, there was a candle-light vigil at the school’s campus, which I attended.
The ceremony was quiet, many people holding candles. I found a spot under one of the large trees that adorn our front lawn on the campus, and silently watched, and listened to everyone talk. but during one of the lengthy (!!) prayers by one of the Christian ministers, I heard a voice telling me to turn around. And there I saw the yellowish gaze of the crescent moon.
Now, ya’ll, the moon holds a special place in my heart. Its one of the objects that can literally give me a moment’s pause at any moment I catch a glimpse of it. During the day-time, when I can see its shape in the bright sky, I will take a moment or five to just stare. This particular moment was no different.
Considering that the moon was to my back, I had to pointedly look away from the candle-light vigil that was underway. I am sure someone around me may have thought me to be rude for doing so, but I have never been one to care much of what people think of me. But looking up at the yellow crescent shape, I started to understand something that had quietly been sniping at the back of my mind. Passing beyond the veil….
Yes, the manner in which these young ladies passed beyond the veil was quite tragic, and honestly, their time here was far too short. But they have moved beyond this rough, sometimes tragic, and beautiful aspect of life. Just as the moon changes and transcends across the night-time skies…so have they. I mourn for their loss within the lives of the students, faculty, friends, family, and even those of us in the college administration. But I also rejoice in having known them, and how their small interactions in my immediate surroundings provided a special backdrop for myself and many, many others that can never be repaired, or replaced. Yes, this particular event pulled a dark shroud over Pagan Pride Day for me. The college I work at is small enough that nearly everyone knows everyone else. And the students are there, in our lives daily.
But Pagan Pride Day was a bright, festive moment on the weekend as well. I dragged my hand-held recorder out there with me – and recorded no one. It never felt “right” to pull the recorder out and shove it into someone’s face and ask them about their feelings on the entire event. Plenty of people were smiling, laughing, and talking. Oh there was a lot of talking going on! Like I said, I was able to make three workshops, where I got listen to serious talks on working with one’s Daily Spiritual practice (Hi John!), as well as another workshop on practicing safety within the Pagan community (Hi Mary!). However, it was another short workshop that I walked away from just completely enthralled about the topic – Indian lore and storytelling (Hi Sakeeta!). I am already inspired by this one workshop, that I am looking for myths and stories to add to the podcast. I know I have done that before…but not as a particular segment that continues.
Yes, more changes are coming to the podcast. I will still be seeking interviews out – as well as continuing with the Spoken Word segment (Poetry, folks). I will add a short legend or story into the mix as well, and if everything goes as hoped – I will be adding another presence to the podcast, who will get 10-15 minutes to talk about any subject he desires. (crossing fingers)
Anyways, I have rambled enough here….