July 19th, 2015 · 1 comment · permalink

Reclaiming the feral beauty of the term thunder thighs. The dark rumble of a goddess on the mountainside; lightning in my hair, wild rain in my earth hands. This body a wide and ancient storm.

I understand


why it

so nervous.

with my raw, bare heart;

July 15th, 2015 · 0 comments · permalink

A few years ago, I embarked on a quiet self-promise to love outwards for one year. I was as open as my heart would allow, stretching way beyond my comfort levels and trying more than anything to let down my guard and let people in. I created (happily!) through long night time hours and sent endless care packages via postal love to sweetest creatures who touched me in some way; I responded long and honest to posts with compassion and recognition and stories from my own life, my own experiences, in an attempt to connect, reaching out with my raw, bare heart. The result was generally warm and loving from a small handful of corners, rich with light and response.

But I grew exhausted, and after this year was up I very much needed to withdraw somewhat back into my natural state of soft quiet and selective openness. To replenish my sensitive energies. To tend my own garden.

Around this time I also felt the need to delete several online accounts of mine which I no longer used; the healing power of letting go of what is dead, and so on. One of these was a sweet little site which allowed people to anonymously (or otherwise) express three words that they felt best described you. I had received such beautiful responses but had not used the site in over a year. As I was moving the mouse over the option to “Delete Account,” I noticed that I’d had a new entry in that time.

“Inspired. Sycophant. Vicarious.”

At first I thought it was kind. “Inspired” is such a good and beautiful thing to be! But then the rest slowly sunk in, and I just sort of felt. Baffled. (What on Earth prompted this?) Dismissive. (This person obviously knows less than nothing about who I am.) But admittedly, hurt.

It only took a few minutes for me to realize that it stemmed from someone within a mutual circle of friends on either Instagram or Facebook, where most of my social interaction takes place and certainly most of my being (reaching out and connecting with people) had taken place around the time the comment was left. And largely, I wasn’t really sickened or upset or any sort of reaction that I’m certain the submitter had hoped it would elicit; the words were so far from who I am at my core that I felt mostly puzzled rather than defensive or angry. I still am not exactly upset when I think about it, really, but the hurt? It was and is most definitely a hurtful thing. It never feels good to be on the receiving end of mindless cruelty.

But at the end of the day, this person clearly knew nothing about me. This person, I suspect, reacted from jealousy or envy or some such thing that had wholly to do with this person and very little to do with me. I had only been doing my best to love and to show kindness and care, and for whatever reason someone reacted in a very ugly but ultimately, perhaps, very sympathetic manner. After all, I can only imagine the secret hurts and insecurities that that person must carry around with them in their life.

As Dita Von Teese herself has said (a mantra in my own life): “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there will still be someone who hates peaches.”

Ultimately, this has made very little of a mark on me, teaching me more about the unkind knee-jerk reactions of other people and their issues and how not everyone will love you, no matter what, more than anything else. A good lesson, still. But I love the strange and honest woman I have grown into. I strive to be as authentic as I possibly can be, because I feel that the people I love and the people I can potentially love deserve this above all else. I am not afraid to dissent (with some of you, often!) and in fact respect my friends far too much to ever pretend otherwise. And lord knows my life is far too sweet all on its own to ever feel the need to live stiflingly through someone else.

But. You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there will still be someone who hates peaches.

And whoever you are? I wholeheartedly and absolutely forgive you.

and the quiet hum of april;

May 17th, 2015 · 0 comments · permalink

bare feet & birdsong under a waning gibbous moon . . .


May 2nd, 2015 · 0 comments · permalink

 { Tori }

“-women can be so critical of themselves and we should all be gentle with each other, because it can be hard to feel beautiful.”

This tender jewel was given me by a friend in a recent conversation on how harsh the public was when sometime faery queen and piano siren extraordinaire Tori Amos underwent various procedures that significantly altered her appearance. I had no idea that she’s a longtime sufferer of TMJ and subsequent trigeminal neuralgia (intense nerve pain), or that at the time of her surgeries her jaw was apparently “completely worn and destroyed, to the point wherein she needed Botox [speculation, this] and eyelifts and jaw/teeth surgery to numb the nerves, open her eyelids, and fix her bite.” (Botox is commonly administered to numb trigeminal neuralgia, and “the eye lift could have been cosmetic but is commonly done to help alleviate eye trouble associated with extreme nerve pain.” My stepmother has struggled with horrible TMJ for most of her life, and while she has not had an eye lift procedure, she has had Botox administered to manage the pain, so there is much truth in that.)

Medical issues aside, it is obvious to most people that she also had work done for purely cosmetic reasons. Tori has spoken candidly about ageism in the music/entertainment industry and her struggle with turning 50; how, she was in a fairly dark place at that time and as a public figure feeling very pressured to “keep up with the 20-somethings.” Obviously plastic surgery has been a part of her coping, and she has since had to learn to step away from that, to embrace the power in aging and not try to preserve her youth. As one commenter somewhere observed, the whole “American Doll Posse” album clearly portrays her cathartic desire to barbie-doll herself and become other people (both older and younger), a desire I can say that I strongly relate to. But she’s a deeply thoughtful and caring individual, she is the same powerful Tori that she has always been, and in her own words, she is learning to step back into her own and move past the issues with aging that she has long struggled with. (Her wise little daughter has apparently been a huge part of that. ♥)

I very passionately feel that, medical reasons or not, it is hands down nobody’s business why she or any other woman (or man) chooses to undergo plastic surgery. Because here’s the thing: it sometimes takes a bit of trial and error before we get to a place where we as women can say that it’s okay that we’re getting older and looking older. I’m not there yet. But I am trying. My mother is absolutely firmly planted there, she dances there, she throws parties there, and she is my shining inspiration every single day. But for many many people, it is not an easy thing to accomplish, especially in a society where so much social esteem is placed on appearance.

In that vein, comments like, “It’s sad that she’s so vain and shallow that she destroyed her face with botox. I used to admire her, but now she’s just freakish,” make me feel physically ill. It’s judgmental and cruel, absolutely presumptuous and completely unnecessary. I loved Tori’s quirky little face, but we all physically change over time, whether it be naturally or surgically, and I’m not going to judge her appearance (or her character based on her appearance) any more than I would judge any other person for their appearance, altered or not. Because doing something like THAT is shallow and sad. We as women should handle each other and our various insecurities with compassion and encouragement, not condemnation and intolerance.

I define you by your spirit, your heart, and the level of kindness with which you treat others. Not by your insecurities. The world is cold enough as it is. And if you are an individual that reacts so harshly to a woman’s personal, private choice to change her appearance in some way, I gently suggest that you perhaps try practicing a little grace. You may feel that someone’s physical alterations are not becoming or necessary, but their body is not your body, their life experience is not your life experience, and insensitivity is not becoming of anyone. Period.

Arabesque Aromas {review};

February 24th, 2015 · 0 comments · permalink

Image ©Kirsten Schilling

{ For the perfume connoisseurs(!) &/or ladyfriends and fellas who might appreciate the literary, medieval, faerytale essence of these perfumes. }

My latest order from Arabesque Aromas included some profoundly generous freebies, namely several sample vials beyond what I had ordered (Miss Kirsten Schilling, creatress and artisan perfumer extraordinaire, usually thoughtfully tucks in perfume samples that she knows her patrons are interested in) and a wholly unexpected, wildly beloved and bejeweled bottle of The Virgin & The Gipsy.

Allow me to sing the praises . . .

Inspired by the D.H. Lawrence novel, “The Virgin and the Gipsy” is a luscious, warm, passionate perfume with Buddha Wood, Labdanum, Black Pepper, Frankincense, a hint of Clove, and other resins and spices. It is sweet and woodsy, soft and womanly, easily one of my favourite perfumes; one of those scents that seem almost sacred, so beautiful it feels like weeping.

Kirsten’s perfumes are created purely in the natural world. They are magical, sensual, haunting. An artisan, scholar, and enthusiast of myth, faerytale and literature, Kirsten draws on inspiration and perfume-making methods from history, using only pure plant-based ingredients and natural botanical essential oils in her creations. She clearly regards the natural world, and her work with plants, with the highest sense of reverence, and her handmade aromatics are witched into being with that same reverence, from the heart. I would have no other perfumer grace my little wooden perfume box . . .

{ perfumed }

September 13th, 2014 · 1 comment · permalink

these weeks have found the entirety of my collected black phoenix alchemy lab imps & bottles slowly gathering into a little pile to be gifted on to a treasured friend in gratitude for a recent kindness. i have been re·visiting each and reverently putting drops to my throat, (&) the insides of my wrists, sitting with their stories every night before laying each one on this growing little nest. haunts and havens, every one. some of them have been with me for years.


we move towards. we move away.

it is good to feel the tender anticipation of giving A Good Thing to a good friend again. it is good to feel this soft, selfless love for an “other,” again.


August 22nd, 2014 · 1 comment · permalink

long hot baths scented with sandalwood, rose, ylang ylang; endless cups of cinnamon tea; curling up in the largest, warm-scented bed all full of sweetness and softness and cats.

a pile of books; the cool quiet air.

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