Of Skulls, Wild Blessings, Pain and Ink

I got out of bed counting skulls. I always find healing in the act of counting blessings. If you know me a bit, you aren’t wondering about my use of the words skulls and blessings in the same paragraph—I love skulls, and recalling the tales of how they got to me is quite soothing.

Take the skull in the photo below, as an example. It’s a gift from my friend Lynne, mistress of the Insomniac’s Attic. She gave it to me during her last visit to New York City… in which we delighted in old books, got lost looking for an antique shop that insisted on hiding behind a delivery truck, and witnessed a rather irresponsible New Age seller tell a customer that onyx stones would give her telepathic powers.
Weeks later, the outrage I felt towards the seller’s statement (and the amusement my reaction brought to Lynne’s face) makes me laugh like a maniac. Laughter heals. The same is true of rituals and symbols. That’s the idea behind the grouping in the image: a frog from Stacy, a skull from Lynne, rosemary from Gina, and a mini-book from Emma, every piece sitting on a stone and a shell that holds its own tale. Even the black ribbon has a story, and telling myself all those tales (and laughing) pushes the aches away. Yes, it’s magic.

After saying goodbye to the frog, skull, rosemary and book, I started breakfast and made my bed. The quilt filled me with warm grins. It’s a handfasting present from my Mother-in-Law. As my not-so-perfect picture shows, the squares make an M or a W (for Magaly & William). And yes, the stitching forms lovely hearts. How cool is that, my Wicked Luvs? How could pain and exhaustion ever compete against the love put into such thought-filled gift?

Some gifts are unexpected treasures. The memories of when I first saw them always rush through me like a wave of ecstatically surprised endorphins. Yep, I’m referring to the bee kissing crabapple blossoms in the photo below. I was gifted this glimpse into Nature’s crafty magic, right after having spent a couple of hours searching for mushrooms. The search was a total fiasco… So, I was justifiably disappointed. Then I saw the bee… and the blooms… and I was delighted. Oh yes, I’m grinning like a lunatic, just thinking about it.

I’m writing this post while my heat pad does its magic on the pain that kicks my back. And “Yes! Yes!! Yes!!!” I’m smiling, as I think of gifts… of friends… of spring… of skulls… of wild magic… of every experience life has inked into my blood… and of how lucky I am to have the strength to craft them into poems and stories to share with you.

Do you count personal blessings? If so, do tell me of a wee blessing that brings all sorts of gigantic smiles to your face. Yummy grows yummier when spread. Really. 😉

Dessert with Skulls

We devoured a skull whose eye sockets were jammed with crimson… pomegranate seeds. The Little Princess ate an eye socket, my in-laws split half of the upper and lower jaw, and my Piano Man and I shared one side of the brain. It was delicious… how it grinned at us the whole time. I was supposed to save the other side of the brain for The Boy, but… my teeth betrayed my sense of giving. I might’ve eaten the remaining eye socket, too. I must bake another skull for The Boy.

skull-cakeboxed spiced cake mix
(for extra yum, add a cup of fresh graded carrots, and
replace ¼ of the required water with Baileys Irish Cream Caramel)

playing-sorry-after-skull-cakeAfter we had dessert with skulls (um… with skull),
there was a game of Sorry! (my Piano Man was not sorry at all)
*by the way, we had pumpkin chili for dinner*.

half-of-a-skull-cakeBefore the Sorry! bit started, the skull had already lost half its head.
Hm… the remnants of the missing pomegranate seeds
give the plate an interestingly-reddish look, don’t you think?

This is our traditional Halloween dinner. But we had it a week ago, in order to share it with my in-laws. What are you cooking today, my Wicked Luvs? Are you going to send me a wee bit? You should… particularly, if the meal grins at you while you eat it. Muahahaha— *cough* ha!

…a wee note…
If you have a minute or three, fly over to Poems United… to read “Poems for a Witchy Hallowe’en”—poetry and a wee bit of conversation by Sherry, Rosemary and moi.

Gorey, Plath, a Chubby Mermaid, and the Dark Lord in Pink…

I have a rather soft spot for bookish treasures. Few things can make me as happy as the right book open in my hands, telling me, “I am yours, read me!” What? Your books don’t speak to you? Oh, they do *exhales with relief*… you were scaring me there. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let me introduce you to the bookish yumminess I got for my birthday:

Amphigorey Also, by Edward Gorey
Ariel, by Sylvia Plath
The Colossus and Other Poems, by Sylvia Plath
Zombie Girls, by Chubby Mermaid’s Art
1. Gorey, Plath, Zombie Queen
A few of my favorite images, from the Gorey book:
2. Woman on Bicycle
3. Frog on Bicycle
4. Skeleton on Bicycle

A quote from “The Night Dances”, in Ariel:
5. Syvia Plath Quote
I can’t wait to color the Zombie Queen (Thank you, Rommy!)
6. Zombie Queen
I also got a Harry Potter coloring book;
and yes, I plan to color the Dark Lord a flowery shade of pink. 😀
7. The Dark Lord

What are you current reading, my Wicked Luvs? What have you added to your library these last few months? Okay, if you are anything like me when it comes to books, I should probably say, “these last few days”. I hope April is treating you well. Things are a bit too chilly in NYC… for spring. I’ve been keeping myself warm with Dark Poetry for the Cruellest Month (and a hot Piano Man).