Where is our family’s home?

I’ve been doing a great deal of work on my family tree- tracing my ancestors and learning their names. They appreciate the recognition and I want to ensure my name and the names of my blood are repeated and acknowledged by my descendants.

I’ve spent a great deal of time imagining these descendants, these children I don’t have. Imagining what I’ll teach them and the stories I’ll whisper to them as they fall asleep about their grandparents and great-grandparents. The recipes and tricks I’ll pass down and the traditions I’ll forge new with help from their tiny hands.

I don’t have any children yet. I am young. I have time.

It’s a strange thing to have children, stranger still is to raise them in a foreign land. My family is a product of immigration. I am second generation born in the United States from Germany and third generation born in the United States from Italy- this is  not the land of my ancestors. Even my parents, raised in New York and southern California, come from a different land than I.

My mother’s home is the ocean, warm sandy beaches and cool surf.

My father’s home is the city with towering skyscrapers that obscure the sky.

I am from none of these places. I am a creature of mountains. A daughter of grey rains and dark skies. I am a child of the evergreen forests of the Pacific Northwest.

But my children will not share this with me, my children will be of yet another land. They will grow up knowing the mightiness of the sun and blue skies that are unending. They will be creatures of open plains and unyielding heat. When I talk of rain that never stops and a grey chill that permeates your skin and soaks into your bones, when I talk of the dense forests of my childhood they won’t understand.

I wonder, is this a taste of what my grandmother felt raising the first of her family not born born in Germany, not born in Berlin? Is this what my great-grandparents felt raising their children so far from their ancestral shores of southern Italy?

What is the price of this familial disconnection from the land? What is the benefit?

Wholeness of the Witch

A few days ago I came across a blog post by Alana Louise May called “Fuck New Age Purity. Get Dirty. Get Off On Your Shadow.” and everything inside my soul screamed “Yessssssss.”

I won’t do her words the disservice of summarization, so just go freakin’ read it and bask in them yourself. Did you read it? Excellent. Let’s continue.

The post is a few weeks old, but it sang to a part of me I didn’t even realize I was repressing. The dirty, corroding, dark, putrid part of me. The part of me that belongs to the witch above all other parts.

The witch is the outcast.

The witch is the untouchable.

The witch is the misfit.

The witch is the freak.

Standing outside of society, the witch embraces chaos. Morality is a social construct. The universe does not recognize good or evil, dark or light. These are tools society has invented- tools to understand, tools to coexist, tools to repress- but tools are only necessary for as long as they are useful.

I am a creature of my nature. I refuse to become less by fracturing my soul and assigning values to certain aspects. I am everything that I am.

I am violent.  I am creative. I am callous. I am manipulative. I am generous. I am fair. I am possessive. I am hateful.

I am whole.  

My tools are deceit and cunning, wrath and viciousness. My tools are acceptance and patience, imagination and resilience.

Dark and light are a farce. Deep in the universal abyss all things are one.

I won’t “rise above” my shadow. I am my shadow.

Don’t tear yourself asunder in the name of purity. You are already everything you need to be, Witch.