Life Goes On

(more thoughts from my previous post)

Pooh passed away in the middle of the night. He’s no longer in pain, and his family can go through a grieving process that will end. They no longer have to cope with the pain of watching a family member suffer.

The sun still rose today. I was up before sunrise, as usual, in my garage making incense. Mr. Magick Man got up, as he always does, and headed off to work.

The death of one person, just as birth, is a part of life. If it were a rock being tossed in the pond of our world, it wouldn’t really make a ripple. But the water where the rock lands – right where it lands – is moved and disturbed. It doesn’t just fall back into place immediately. That water represents those immediately affected by the one person’s death; their loved ones.

Why do good people have to suffer in such a manner when there are others in this world that perform truly horrible acts and don’t have to suffer in kind? We may never know. The answer to this question may come down to your spiritual beliefs. It may be a lesson you have to learn in this life before passing to the next. It may be we do not understand God’s plan. Or it may be there is no higher power; it’s just a disease and it’s a roll of the dice.

I have friends who walk each path. Personally, I believe there is a higher power. I’ll never understand the why’s, but I try to find some kind of growth from life’s experiences – no matter where I am in that pond.

Pond Of Life

A Crisis of Faith

My first post in how long? It was supposed to be about how busy I’ve been. I was going to write about my new business, gearing up for an upcoming festival, and success. These things are not at the forefront of my mind right now. What brings me out of the shadows and back to my blog is a need to write.

…2am and I’m still awake writing this song
If I get it all down on paper it’s no longer inside of me
Threatening the life it belongs to…

“Breathe” – Anna Nalick, 2006

Today I write about a good friend of my husband’s. He’s as big as a bear, has the demeanor of a teddy, so I’ll call him Pooh, because you all know I never use anyone’s real names here.

Pooh is losing his battle with cancer. Over the past five years I’ve had the honor of knowing this man and his wife, and he’s a very good person.  My husband has known him far longer.

Pooh surprised the doctors and lived beyond their expectations. He is a stubborn old man and we wouldn’t have it any other way. But in the past month he’s started going downhill fast. This past weekend was hard, and now he’s really not in good shape. When he’s coherent he seems like himself but most of the time he’s out of it. I’ll be surprised if he makes it another week.

I’ve seen Pooh cope with the anger and frustration of not being able to do what he used to do. To have the mental capacity one has but lose one’s physical capacity and know one is just slowly withering away, with no control over the situation, is not easy. I just saw Pooh on occasion; I can only imagine what his wife saw on a daily basis and how hard this has been on her.

I see Mr. Magick Man coping with his emotions. He’s one who tucks things away. I ask how he’s doing and he’s honest – he says, “not good.” But he’s not breaking down like I would in this situation. He’s got the emotions neatly packed in a box somewhere so he can function throughout his day. Meanwhile I sit here being so close to him emotionally I can feel it. And I weep.

I wonder if it’s just this, or if there are old issues being triggered, and I already know the answer. Old issues I neatly tuck away in my own box so I can go on seem to never come out of that box. If I don’t look at them they don’t exist. They just reach up and bite me in the ass at times like this.

A good friend of mine lost his own battle with cancer years ago, when I worked at The Empire. His diagnosis was a bit worse than Pooh’s. Doctor’s gave him a very grim prognosis from the beginning – about a year, tops. He lived 3-4 years. Attitude is a lot of it, from what I hear. When he passed away, I wondered then, “Why do such good people have to die in such a painful way?” I never came to terms with that concept. I never got my answer.

People die every day and it isn’t for us to make judgment on “good” or “bad”. But when you see the news headlines or hear about these sick people in the world who do terrible things, from rapists to child molesters to terrorists, one has to wonder… Why do they have it so easy? Why is it these things happen to good people instead?

As I was in the garage this morning making incense, I fussed to the heavens above about this… again. I still don’t have an answer. I just have a headache.

‘Cause you can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable
And life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button now.
So cradle your head in your hands
And breathe… just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe

“Breathe” – Anna Nalick, 2006

 

On Challenging Old Concepts and Catholic Guilt

I’m not sure if I’ve written about it over here yet, but I have this creative streak that seems to have turned into a business. I make incense and blended oils. I love what I do, and my house smells amazing!

That being said, with my line of blended oils, I’ve been known to do custom blends. These oils are used for aromatherapy or for wearing on the skin, so my requests may vary.

Yesterday I received what has to be the strangest request yet. I received a request for Holy Water.

“You have this ‘Cleansing Sage Mist’; I was wondering, can you make Holy Water?”

I was raised Catholic. I haven’t been to confession in over 30 years and I doubt the church would consider me as being Catholic now (I don’t), but the Catholic guilt never leaves you. The first thing that crossed my mind was, “Isn’t there someone a bit more qualified?” Followed by, “Won’t I go straight to Hell for making that, much less, selling it?”

Photo: "Shock" Kitty Parrish, Deviant Art
Photo: “Shock” Kitty Parrish, Deviant Art

Off to the Google I went and not only did I find a few recipes for Holy Water, I found there are different types of Holy Water. Most religions that use it follow the same basic recipe but they use a different blessing. The Catholic Church has three different types alone, for different occasions. The type we are most familiar with is the one they keep in the stoup, found as one enters the church. This is the basic recipe, made with distilled water and a bit of sea salt.

The blessing I found to be most interesting. Up until the Second Vatican Counsel (referred to as Vatican II), the church used the traditional Roman blessing to consecrate the water. This was a powerful and fascinating read. They actually performed an exorcism over the salt and the water, making it pure and “exorcising the evil” out of it. It was a lengthy ritual, of course.  Vatican II was 1959-1965. During that time they changed the blessing making it much shorter. It’s no longer an “exorcism” over the salt and water, but after reading the new version, IMO, it does seem to do its job.

I’d found the recipe and the blessing. I now had my moral dilemma. Sister Nora would sternly disapprove and would be highly disappointed. She would tell me I should not be so sacrilegious and I should go to confession immediately for even thinking of doing such a thing.

But Catholics don’t have the exclusive on Holy Water, and I’m not Catholic anymore. Besides, my label wouldn’t say, “Catholic Holy Water.” Another thing that crossed my mind; if this customer wanted Holy Water from the Catholic Church, she would have gone to a priest. In my research I confirmed they do still give that out to parishioners.

Anyone can say a prayer…

I went for it.

I went for it

 

Sister Nora, I’m sorry. When I was 7 years old, grasping the concepts of God, forgiveness, and following the right path, I asked you about people who weren’t Christian and said, “What if we’re wrong and one of them are right?” I know you probably gave me the answer you thought best at the time, but I needed something more than, “You shouldn’t be so sacrilegious.” I kept questioning as I got older and got to the point I believe all these different spiritual paths lead to the same Deity. There are just too many similarities in their beliefs to think otherwise.

So can anyone make Holy Water? Sure. Will the Catholic Church recognize it as such? No. But I believe in sanctification and I believe it is something any of us can do.

As for selling it? You know, I don’t feel right selling the water itself. I do have packaging involved so I have to put some kind of a price on it. If that means I’m going to Hell; well, at least I’ll be in good company. All my friends say they’ll be there and Mr. Magick Man says he already has the ice concession.

going to hell