Happy May Day 2012!
May 1, 2012After a strange early spring followed by a cold spell that put us back into something resembling a normal season, we're welcoming Beltaine as the start of a very busy period. After almost eight years of maintaining dual residences (Chicago for work, Wisconsin for our passions), we are selling our Chicago house and consolidating at Brigit Rest, our land in Wisconsin. This has entailed no end of details in preparing the house for sale--who knew that for 28 years I have been running afoul of housing codes by not having a handrail on my back porch? We have almost completed the repairs and will have the house on the market next week. It's a grand old Victorian, and we've loved living here, but time has come to simplify and consolidate.
Meanwhile at the farm, we have plans for a small addition that will add a meditation room, sauna, screened porch, wine-making room and root cellar. That should start within the month and, with luck, be done within two months. Meanwhile we will be burying a statue of St. Joseph beside the front porch in Chicago (supposed to assist in selling homes--but it does seem a bit like a hostage situation to me--you're in there, Joe, until we get an offer!). We would love to have navigated this transition by fall, but all is dependent on the housing market. Send good vibes!
Off to San Francisco
Next week, I'm excited to be headed to San Francisco for the biennial meeting of the Association for Study of Women and Mythology (ASWM; www.womenandmyth.org). Since my research trip to Ireland in winter, I've been furiously working on my paper for the conference, entitled "Losing Theodiversity: The Erasure of the Cannibal Hag in Ireland." While researching the obscure figure of Echtge, mountain goddess of east Clare, we encountered the landscape-altering monoculture of pulp-spruce that has replaced what was once the most biodiverse and largest woodland in the west of Ireland. Building on theories of the necessity of biodiversity for a healthy world, I've come up with the concept of "theodiversity," honoring the divinities of place even if they are not "major deities." I am very pleased with the paper and eager to share it at the conference. I'll also be doing a poetry reading and moderating a panel on publishing. It will be an exciting few days, and I give loads of credit to ASWM volunteers who have pulled it all together.
Magical Gardens revisited
The new edition of "Magical Gardens" has just been released from Llewellyn, with a gorgeous new cover (http://www.llewellyn.com/product.php?ean=9780738731926). I've just received my copies and am still oo-ing and ah-ing over the book. It was a pretty big project to revise this, especially on the heels of revising "Meditation: The Complete Guide" (http://www.newworldlibrary.com/BooksProducts/ProductDetails/tabid/64/SKU/80474/Default.aspx), for which I've been doing a lot of radio interviews over the last few months. I'm delighted with both of these new editions and, as ever, am appreciative of the supportive editors I've been blessed with.
It's hard to imagine past the chaos of packing and moving--especially the book-sorting part!--but I'm working on a new book of land-based poems set on our farm and in Ireland, which I hope to have completed by summer's end. Then I am hoping to turn attention to my long-shelved novel about St. Augustine's mistress! Stay tuned.
I hope that the spring season finds you all in good spirits and enjoying the burgeoning season. May good health and good luck find us all in the coming months--Patricia