The Why and the How of Things

If we possess our why of life we can put up with almost any how.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Last week someone wrote this to me in an email, “I pray every night that I will not wake up.” The rest of the message had to do with the heart-wrenching ‘hows’ of their life – the difficulties, hardships, frustrations and heartaches. I had to resist the urge to argue, cajole, or in some form or fashion try to fix things for them. But I left behind that way of being me long ago. It would not be the day that I picked it up again.

Today I ran into the Nietzsche quote above and a light dawned. Suddenly everything made sense. When the why of life is lost, you cannot put up with any how. Not gracefully. Not forebearingly. Not willingly.

It also explains my inability to ‘fix’ things. A why cannot be given, only found, cultivated, cherished. And that within the heart.

What is your why? Does it help you put up with the hows?


Only Magic Enough for Me.

This post is brilliant — and a beautiful reminder that caring for others begins with self care. If only we all knew ourselves so well. But then, the true magician knows their own limits. Self-awareness is a prerequisite to performing magic of any real substance.

Gabor Mate commented on self-care this way: “The best gift that you can give your kids [or anyone you love] is your own happiness.” What I know is that you cannot give away what you do not possess, so if you’re trying to bring the ‘world’ joy but you’re bereft, well, how’s that workin’ for ya?

Enjoy this reblog in honor of a very talented NanoPoblano Pepper!!


William S. Friday

I once wrote, “Magic can be stressful as fuck.  More stressful than people who don’t rely on it can know” (August 23, 2017).  In the years that followed that adorable tweet, I went from this tenuous-at-best belief in magic, to no belief in magic at all.  But now, I may have learned the most important lesson magic ever shared,

“I have only magic enough for me”.

I will spare you all the nonsense and double-talk, smeared on society’s cage bars like angry gorilla feces at the zoo, about “the magic in all of us”, or “the way of the empath”, or any other such crap that South Asian-appropriating white saviors and plagiarist self-help gurus fling around the internet, and simply say that I, in whatever way you wish to define it, still do believe in magic.

And it is in short supply.

I mean look, I’m writing a blog post…

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Dia de los Muertos

Fall has long been my favorite season. The cooler temperatures encourage me to move at a slower pace, giving me the time and energy to pay attention to the changes happening around me. Trees display their most brilliant colors in dying leaves ... the songs of migrating birds vie for my attention every morning and evening ... I breathe in the bright color and aroma of the last of the blooms: marigolds, roses, mums, and herbs (rosemary, mint, and sage). 

I celebrated Samhain season with carved pumpkins and bonfires (both courtesy of a close friend). 
October 31 to November 2 is thought to be the time when the veil between the physical and the spiritual realms is at its thinnest. For me, it presents a unique opportunity to honor those I love who have left the earthly plane behind. My Day of the Dead display sat in storage for the past while, so this year I decorated in mid-September, wanting to extend my enjoyment of the familial connections I now hold in Spirit. I was not disappointed. On multiple occasions I sensed and 'saw' them with me — many more than I ever actually met. Their presence served as a reminder that I am rooted in a long lineage of life, hope, and love.

Whatever your family relationships look like, or even if you do not know who or where you came from, we all have an unseen entourage cheering us on and need only tune in to perceive the love directed towards us from those who served as the umbilical cord connecting us to humanity.
The Naked Heart grid is a symbol of my commitment to stay open to love, letting go the type of grief that makes the heart sick. Clear quartz, tourmaline, and merlinite represent my physical connection to the earth, as well as my body's determination to one day return there. Photographs and other mementos keep me mindful of those who have moved on from this physical realm, yet have left an indelible mark on the lives of generations to come. 
As winter nears, bringing the Northern Hemisphere's dormancy closer, I am reminded that truly death is a sham. If it teaches us anything, the Wheel of the Year asserts that what looks like an ending is merely a doorway to rebirth and abundance. Ultimately, Dia de los Muertos is a celebration of life! While I honor those who have crossed over, I review my living relationships. Many of them bring fresh air into my life on a regular basis. A few present challenges and spur me on to grow in ways that if left alone, I'd rather not. Others have gone the way of my ancestors, and that’s okay too. One lies dormant, yet full of hope, waiting for Spring to awaken it in due time. 

As we move inexorably through twilight and into darkness, may we remember the light of life that our ancestors gave us, and may we honor them even as we await the dawn of a new year and the coming light of Spring.