Acoustic Spirit

Smoky sky from WA-OR-CA fires, Sep2020

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The Brokedown Palace Of My Head

by Brown Bird

I don't blog well, at least how people blog about blogging. This is specifically because I live inside my own head, which has caused a long string of troubles over my lifetime. I do not market myself in any conventional way, nor do I have any desire to, either. There's no reason for me to put on a front, which is what the prevailing self-marketing advice boils down to, whatever the good intentions.

I've realized a lot of things about myself since the beginning of the USA quarantine, which I'm sure you've heard from many people over the same period (or I would hope).

  1. I cannot lie for the sake of staying respected

  2. I cannot put energy into anything only neutral, not even negative impact on the world

  3. I will not get anywhere toward goals without ignoring more of others' expectations

This was a long time coming, but congealed as something I could reach out and touch earlier this month. There's a community gardening space near where I live which, earlier in the Spring, I would walk through to give myself a break from apartment life (and apartment gardening of my own).

As the season progressed, I noticed that most of what I was seeing was going to flower. If you know much about gardening on a larger scale than apartments, you'll know this isn't such a big deal. Saving seeds means understanding the cycle of growth, and respecting what you're tending so you can give it another cycle next year.

Overgrown, wasted tomatoes Sep2020

Things went to seed, and then food started spoiling.

I started looking around some more, and I realized I wasn't walking through garden plots that were just overgrown - they looked nearly abandoned. There was evidence of some people coming through to tend them, but there were too many things that didn't make sense for anything intended for use.

In modern day, it's difficult to have zero waste. We pay for convenience, take out the bulging trash, and buy paper straws in plastic wrapping.

This isn't a post ranting about ecology. I'm still learning about that.

It's about the utter waste I see in the world around me, originating in the spirit. We're always waiting for something, or someone, to do something for us. We tell each other we need to change the world, but it's too often an either-or proposition of being a human shield or only looking out for yourself. Because we don't have money, we don't do anything else. Because we don't have vast connections, we don't look at who's in front of us.

Because we want to take care of someone else, we don't take care of ourselves. Because we don't act on what we believe in a way someone else wants us to, the assumption is that we're lying. Because we're not on social media, saying the correct things, or placing ourselves in situations where people can see us, the assumption is too often that we're doing nothing.

If we can't be praised, or even just approved of, we often forget that what we do still matters.

Anise Hyssop cutting Aug2020

Since quarantine, I can't rely on blending in. I didn't mean to in the first place (I mean c'mon, look at me) but that's just it, isn't it?

I'm sure not everyone in the community garden meant to let their space go to waste. They didn't mean to take someone else's space who could have worked for their food. They didn't mean to fall prey to exactly what we all need to avoid, if we ever hope to make the world (or someone's world) a better place.

Some may be asking, why is it such a big deal?

Why do I care about someone else's tomatoes?

What does this have to do with any great personal epiphany?

For the last several years, I've gravitated toward pagan-leaning lifestyle. An acoustic spirituality, if you will. I'm not averse to modern tech, but it should be a tool rather than an addiction. Once society moved largely online due to Covid-19, my feelings toward social media didn't change much. It actually got worse.

I grew up being called aloof. Self-centered. Happy when I should be unhappy and unhappy when I should be happy.

Which was right, in a way. I simply didn't care about the waste of spirit around me, and being mocked for being too curious why people did what they did, and why I should do the same.

I'm pagan which, without making this too much longer, means I believe in personal responsibility and honesty with myself. I believe in knowing where my food comes from, working with my hands, and respecting forces of nature. That the unknown isn't inherently dangerous, and "just following orders" is not an excuse for any outcomes in my life or the affect of my life on others. I'm not responsible for others' choices, but how I influence them has consequences.

I also believe in only planting seeds if I'm prepared to respect what it produces.

Down time is just as important, and no one should be telling you to write a fantasy epic in Quarantine or you're being lazy, but...

How are you using your time? Are you waiting for this to be over, or are you hearing things differently in the quiet (whatever Quiet means to you)?

I've finished my first novel, and I'm currently querying agents. I've since started a second and third book, started practicing spinning yarn again (I used to several years ago), and have jumped in with both feet to open my shop properly.

WTFT Logo Sticker

{Whiskey Terra Foxtrot} is the beginning of taking initiative in a new way. It's a fight against waste - of time, money, and life. An illustration of the balance we should all strive for between Things and Ideas.

Especially in the realm of Western paganism and more nature-based lifestyles, there's an alarming trend. Sellers are still capitalizing on a market in wasteful ways. Bulk crystals, herbs, and other products are being up-sold without any thought toward where they come from and where they're going.

While I carve away at my novels, I'm also carving away at WTFT, organizing, sourcing, designing, and listing. It's not a gimmick, and it's not capitalizing on a trend. It's ethical sourcing, transparent practices, and getting meaningful things in the hands of those interested in a way that rewards me for my time.

Which means there's so many more possibilities.

So I'll go ahead and leave you with what all these realizations have produced. Because there's no sense in planting a seed without looking toward what grows from it, right? Even if we're not sure, the act of planting is a spiritual one, whether we like it or not.

  1. I should not expect other people to be as invested in my own goals as I am

  2. The line between selfish and driven depends on what's done along the way

  3. Taking care of myself is necessary, even if it conflicts with others wishes

  4. The purpose of taking care of myself is so I can continue to help change the world, my own or someone else's

  5. Sometimes, this will make people believe I'm their enemy, regardless of what I say or do about this fact

People have stated that we're in an historic time.

All of time is history, so I don't know what they're talking about.

But, what I do know, is that re-examining ourselves sometimes need to be dramatic and forceful, otherwise we get swept up in "that's just how things are done."

And now, I'm doing things differently.

How about you?

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