Part 1: The past few days have been alternately tiring (physically) and relaxing (mentally). I've been at work, of course, especially after hours with the pager. I cooked a couple of good dishes and a couple of light ones, as well as gorging myself (and I'm working to clear that excess out of my system at this time). Meanwhile, I've been attempting to achieve a meditative state at least once each day, with varying results.
- My highlights of the past weekend were cooking a deep dish pizza on Saturday, then spending most of Sunday walking around town and taking in the weather. Hardly the most exciting weekend, I know; then again, anyone who's been reading this blog knows I have very little of what can be termed a social life. I seem to be keeping mostly to myself, though I know this can't last forever.
- The walk on Sunday was very pleasant, nonetheless. Interspersed with calls from work (unfortunately), I retraced my steps from the many trips that we used to take to the Wayside Inn when we were kids. I seem to have already experienced most of the feelings and memories of the past already since I moved back into this town, as I wasn't constantly reminded of something I experienced thirty years ago as I walked along the streets. But it was a mostly relaxing experience, nonetheless. As a 43-year-old man, I'm quite pleased at the fact that I was physically able to walk from end of town to the other, and back, in what seems to have been about a ten mile round trip. (A year and a half ago, I would have been winded if I'd walked more than a couple of blocks!)
- Worth noting were a couple of sights, including visiting Strange Brew at its new location on Route 20. While I've never brewed my own alcoholic drinks (yet), I was intrigued enough to pick up a book there entitled Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers, which is a fascinating read in itself. It makes me want to try brewing my own mead, though I think I'd need a different book if I actually want to get down to the nitty-gritty of home brewing.
- Some basic and easy mead recipes: www.greydragon.org/brewing/mead.html
- My walk on Sunday was obviously why I was so physically exhausted at work yesterday. I was able to bake a No Knead Focaccia Bread on Sunday evening and bring it in to work, but I was so tired otherwise that I had no urge to do anything last night except go home, make a simple beans and rice dish (which turned out well), and go to bed.
Part II: Last week I received a new book from Amazon, Hands-On Chaos Magic. Far more enjoyable to read than Liber Null was, I think this is the introduction to Chaos magic that I've been hoping to read! It will take a while to work my way through this book, but the writing style is both easy to read and full of useful information. It includes a few basic ways to achieve the frame of mind for gnosis, which I hope to try soon enough. It even delves into the aspect of Chaos magic that made me laugh out loud, at first – the way it mixes the fictional with the so-called "non-fictional." (Technically, it's all fictional, which is why I'm enjoying it on its own terms.) Probably more than any book on "magic" that I've read so far (which aren't very many, admittedly), Hands-On Chaos Magic is the one that has appealed to me the most as a beginner, and encouraged me to delve further into this genre.
- This has encouraged me to put together a schedule of things to do as I prepare for Halloween. Unlike a lot of pagans, I'm not looking forward to Halloween for its special meaning, increased "power and energy" for that night, doing a Samhain ritual, or anything like that. Rather, as I'd said before, I want to put together a Halloween presentation for the kids trick-or-treating, because I want to have fun and especially enjoy the upcoming night. But as I look forward to it, and continue my attempts to open my mind and achieve a "magical" state of consciousness, I realized only this morning that it's going to be a busy week leading up to it. So far, I think this will be my agenda for the next week, beginning tonight:
- Tuesday – do more laundry and ironing. An important chore that needs to be done.
- Wednesday – design a sigil for the weekend and prepare for an actual "rite."
- Thursday – meditate, attempt gnosis, do my rite with the sigil.
- (Either Wednesday or Thursday, I'll probably cook something fancy; I figure the Cast Iron Cooking group is likely to break 1,000 members by the weekend!)
- Friday – food shopping and the pager. Do some cleaning for the weekend.
- Saturday – the Saturday before Halloween, I've gotten the idea to intentionally head to Salem (in the morning hours, so that there will be time and space to park there) and spend the day, or at least the afternoon, there to see what the crowds are like. Given my previous experiences, I don't expect anything to "happen" while I'm there; but I'll do my best to keep an open mind and let whatever happens, happen.
- Sunday – recover from Saturday, get a pumpkin and carve it, design a sigil for Halloween. Probably relax, and cook. Also, get some small bowls and spoons for Halloween.
- Monday (Halloween) – I've asked for the day off from work. This will give me time to cook two big dishes – chocolate cobbler and pumpkin bread – and prepare them for the evening. Then I'll take my car out onto the street, to the site I've chosen, and set up my stand there. I'll have my cast iron pot hanging from its stand, full of little toys for the kids, while I set up my food and (hopefully) offer it to the kids on the streets – and their parents. (I obtained the parts for my costume – which doesn't require much – last Friday evening.)
I plan on having a fun and special weekend.