Category Archives: Food Memo

A prayer acknowledged

File Oct 11, 4 12 26 PMI was in my early thirties when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. That was 23 years ago tomorrow.

A few weeks ago, one of my nieces called seeking advice. She’s been diagnosed, too.  She’s in her late twenties.

I’ve been attending yoga on Sundays for a few weeks now. I keep parking around the corner in pretty much the same spot – right across the street from a small cafe.  I keep wanting to stop into that cafe after yoga. The stomach is empty and suddenly serenity isn’t quite filling it up.

At the end of class today, we prayed for those who are dying or ill. The yogi asked us to think of someone who is in need of such prayers. I prayed for comfort and healing for <Insert Name Of Niece>. We ended by sending a series of Oms out to them.

I thought we were done, but then the yogi started a chant, and I was really excited about it because I recognized it. That made me feel like a little less of a yoga/mediation imposter. And then I realized that I recognized it from a mediation lesson recorded by the late David Simon, a co-founder of the Chopra Center, who had died of cancer. That made me sad.

After class, I decided that it was finally time to stop into that little cafe. The waitress was pleasant, and when I said I’d just come from yoga, she brought some ice water with lemon right away.  I asked how long the cafe had been in operation, and she launched into a colorful tale of cafe survival that was basically a reflection of the renaissance of downtown Fort Myers. “We’ve had a lot of adversity,” she said. “But we’ve prevailed.”

As I was leaving, I asked her name. She shook my hand and said, “It was nice meeting you. My name is <Insert Name Of Niece>”.

Thoroughly prepared

Rainy days and sunshine

“Some people are making such thorough preparation for rainy days that they aren’t enjoying today’s sunshine.” – William Feather

Life’s a real balancing act, isn’t it?  Reminds me of that old Kenny Rogers song, about knowing when to walk away and when to run… how do we know when we have focused too much or not enough energy on preparations for the future?  How is that compatible with “be here, now”? Balance is just a tricky customer, I’ve determined. The fact is, we DON’T know, until CLICK to read more

a-hunting we will go

Diana at Dowling 1I’ve been looking for permanent employment for some time now. My friend Lisa suggested that I clear my home office of every last remaining shred of evidence that I had worked at Too Big To Fail (TBTF). In clearing the office, we reckoned, space would be made for new work to move in. Lisa also recommended smudging.

Last week, I finally made it happen. I consulted the calendar and and determined that Friday the 20th of July was the New Moon. I installed Skype on my laptop; Lisa is in NY but I am in FL, so we’d have to do a cyber ceremony. All shreds of TBTF were packed into a Rubbermaid bin, which was moved out to the hallway. The desk was cleared, the white board wiped, and paperwork properly filed and/or shredded. I mounted my Florida Master Naturalist certificates on the wall (my walls indicate that I am entirely over-educated), and cleared out some clutter. The room was ready.

Of course, since Mercury is in retrograde in my sign (Leo) at the moment, this exercise was not without its petty annoyances. A picture fell off the wall, and the glass shattered, necessitating a gloved cleanup and thorough vacuuming of the carpet. Despite said thorough vacuuming, days later I approached the room and saw two errant shards gleaming on the Berber in the afternoon light. More vacuuming ensued. Then, Windows did a Patch Tuesday update which I believe rendered Skype unusable. I am sure there were a few other minor annoyances along the way that I’m not remembering; it’s actually a good sign that I don’t remember. The annoyance itself is not as important as how you react to it.

On the north wallI had purchased a brand new smudge stick and abalone shell at Whole Foods last time I was there. I broke out the witch box and took out a brand new white candle that I could dedicate to this purpose. I also fished out a velvet bag full of runes, a clay prayer bowl, and my box of wooden matchsticks with the lady bard on the cover. We do not use a lighter to make fire, ever; we do it the old fashioned way, with wooden matches. I thought briefly that this might be something from TBTF, since the matches were obtained many years ago at “Conference Room M”, a bar and grill around the corner and down the street from TBTF headquarters in Manhattan. However, the whole reason I’d kept the box of matches was because they had the lady bard on the cover, and they’d been consecrated to my cause long ago, so I let it be.

At the appointed time, I began to prepare the feast, which consisted of fruit, grains, cheese, and nuts. Lisa called, and we chatted while I got everything ready. I love a cordless phone and a plug-in headset for this very reason. Instead of Skyping, I took pictures with my cell phone and sent them to her while we talked. Using the “Conference Room M” matches with the lady bard on the cover, I lit the altar candle and placed it on the desk, which is conveniently located on the north wall, and then held the sage to the candle until it began to smolder. I smudged the room, even venturing into the hallway to smudge the Rubbermaid bin. Our mantra has been, “Income! Income! Income!” ever since I figured out that praying for a job isn’t really praying for what we want; we don’t necessarily want mundane work, but we do want the cash LOL 😉 I wrote my desires on special Walt Disney World paper decorated with purple pixie dust (purloined, I’m afraid, from Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club) and burned them in the prayer bowl (note to self: don’t forget to scatter the ashes). I then simultaneously feasted and drew runes, first three for Lisa and then three for me.

Lisa’s rune cast was very much in keeping with the hurry-up-and-wait aspect of a Mercury retrograde. Mine, hooray, was VERY positive.

Rune cast

Joy (Wunjo) – “The shift that was due has arrived, the Wheel of Karma has turned in your favor, and you are about to come to yourself in some way. Be happy!”. Indicates success with whatever the other runes in the cast represent. Might indicate the object of one’s affections romantically, or else love of one’s work. I guess you could say that, after 40 years in the desert, the shift is about the hit the fan!

Harvest (Jera) – “a reaping of rewards for efforts expended”. Maybe karmic in nature. Related to justice and legalities. Since a harvest can only happen after an expenditure of time and effort, there is an implication of delay coming first, and THEN the reward.

Journey (Raidho) – this rune is identified with the wagon; “it is a prime indicator of travel or movement”. The journey is usually related to pleasure, “a safe or pleasant journey, usually without mishaps and often with convivial traveling companions”. Sometimes a journey of the soul; keep on the path if you are already on it. Negotiation, logic, strategy, buying and selling, unexpected news, perhaps by phone.

Perhaps I will finally find employment, work that I LOVE. Maybe I will physically move in connection with this discovery of dharma, or maybe I will be moved into a different frame of mind, or the next step in my personal evolution. “Strategy” comes up in various forms in the current incarnation of my resume. I have skills in strategic business planning, and also as a social media strategist.

Lisa speculated that by the next New Moon, something should have happened for me in the area of “Income! Income! Income!”. After our call ended, I used a tide chart site that I’m fond of to look up the moon phases.

New Moon August 17th 2012

The next New Moon will fall on my birthday –
Friday August 17th.

Moon MagickNaturally, I was delighted, but I was also reminded of my 50th birthday, two years ago. Knowing that the layoff date was rapidly approaching, I had a job interview that day for a prestigious position. All the signs seemed positive, and all the people with whom I spoke that day were eager to get me aboard, but the job never materialized. And here I am, 40 years in the desert later…

As I was preparing to leave the office, I glanced at my bookshelves and saw a book about moon rituals, into which I had not yet delved. I looked up August 17th. It’s the feast of Diana in Rome.

That caught my attention. I decided to google “when is the feast of Diana in Rome”, just to be sure that the book wasn’t assigning some arbitrary goddess to some arbitrary date. Nope, there it was, in my search results.

When is the feast of Diana In Rome?

I knew the first hit to be erroneous for 2012, because August 17th is not the Full Moon this year. So I skipped to the second hit, and found this:

Diana of Ephesus

I got a jolt, and then I was delighted. A few years ago, I was playing an online game called CyberCitizens. A side group from the game decided to form an ongoing role-playing forum. This picture you see here, from the second hit on my google search, is the avatar I’d used on that forum. I didn’t know it was supposed to be Diana; I had just googled “moon goddess” and this was the image I liked best.

Are we getting spooked yet?

I started to think about it, and realized that I have a history with Diana:

Diana is sometimes known as “Artemis”. For a while, I was inclined to use variations of that name as a password, many years ago.

“Diana, Mistress of the Hunt” is a character in Disney’s Fantasia, and if you’re so inclined, you can read about the day I acquired a statue of her in the Art of Disney store. Here she is in the SpectroMagic parade at Magic Kingdom:


Diana is associated with the hunt, and with dogs. I have been hunting for a job, but I haven’t really been willing to settle on only making money. I wanted to leverage this opportunity to make money doing meaningful work, work that I love. I have also been boring my friends with indecision about getting a dog. I want to get a dog, wait I dunno if I really want a dog, what kind of dog should I get? I love your dog! What kind of dog is that? I did this with the blue suede damnsofa too – aggravated everyone while mulling it over for a couple of years, until one of them became agitated enough to exclaim, “oh just buy the damnsofa already!”.

Diana at Dowling 2I am surprised that no one has admonished me to “just get the damndog already!”. Of course, the types of dogs that attract me are herding dogs like the border collie and the German shepherd – or hunting dogs, like the Brittany spaniel, foxhounds, or Jack Russel terriers. Most of these would send tumbleweeds of dog fur blowing across my tiled floors on a daily basis, one of the many things that gives me pause about getting a dog.

Diana was featured prominently in a magnificent sculpture at the college where I earned my degree in psychology. Before I graduated, I spent an afternoon roaming and photographing the beautiful campus, including the sculpture.There is something otherworldly about a slightly-bigger-than-life hunter-goddess emerging from the wall.

And for good measure – I recently finished reading two novels featuring a character named Diana, who is a somewhat reluctant witch, and who seems to be associated with the goddess. Here I am while reading it – and lucky you, a glimpse of the blue suede damnsofa 😉


So, what have we got here?


It took its sweet-ass time, but it’s FINALLY coming.


And I want it noted that I received and interpreted an epic, multi-faceted memo entirely without the assistance of my usual prompt =8^0