2007-02-03 @ 11:59 p.m.
I had several pieces of bad news this week. The one I will share is the loss of a social service agency I've been with for over 7 years. I have a very nice case manager there and she's helped me with many things like dealing with the various gnarly and disagreeable agencies (i.e., food stamps, section eight, social security), as well as many nice things like completely funding my art classes, an occasional massage, and even a membership to the YMCA. But on Thursday I was told I was being dropped as a client. Boy did that hurt. She's been like one of my two main supports the last 7 years. I don't know what I'm going to do without her. Its like suddenly losing your best friend. I am stunned.
So I've been feeling very dejected this week, so when an old aquaintance e-mailed me about a women's retreat this weekend, I was all about that! I was all about getting a little sisterly kumbaya and...
Whoops, sorry. Fortunately, today was probably the last day until March that we won't be getting massive blizzard-like conditions and below zero temperatures, so I was able to drive up to our local Catholic Retreat House and go to the event. I was a little anxious about going into a room full of women I didn't know and also slightly nervous about running into someone from my old Survivor Group or one of my ex-clients, but fortunately none of that happened and....did I mention....FREE FOOD!!!!!!!
The day was very relaxed and New Age-y, which was fine with me. I really needed something like that. So what was on the agenda? First up....Totem Animals! What is your Totem Animal? Well, it has to do with Shamanism, I guess, and your animal, at least according to our Hippie Chick Guide, is linked to your Astrology Sign. There was a lot of very deep "Everything is a circle", "Everything intertwines with everything" and something about "Twisted Hair Medicine" (wonder if that's covered by Medicaid). We only had a half hour and her explanations were so lengthy and deep, that I had to excuse myself before they got to Aquarius (which incidentally is an Otter, known for their playfulness and psychic abilities. What a strange combination. Can you imagine a jokester psychic? "I predict you're going to win a million dollars. Hahahaha. Just yanking your chain, mom!").
So why did I have to excuse myself early? Free Massage!!! It was just a 10 minute chair massage but since I'm like a total Massage Slut, I'll take anything I can get! And then they also had a separate Hand Masseuse! She asked me what kind of oil I wanted massaged into my hands: Dreams, Destiny or Happiness. And guess which one I wanted. Go ahead, guess!! HAPPINESS!! Like Duh! So now I have Hands O' Happiness, which I believe is just like one step below Jazz Hands.
Next on the agenda was Henna Tattoos. Umm. Did anyone remember to tell witty that henna tattoos last 2-3 weeks before she sat down and got one applied to her right hand? You guys are really slacking, ya know! Jesus-H-Christ!-
I'm not really sure how I feel about it. I'm also not thrilled with the strange orange tint. And notice how lovely it goes with my still noticeable purple blood test bruise from about ten days ago. I thought it was going to be the dark gray color it was when she was painting it on me. But then as I dried it over a candle, the inky stuff started to became hard and crunchy and then for the rest of the day, I kept picking it off and now I kinda regret the whole thing.
By the way....the supposed lotus flower on my hand represents LOVE...that is if anyone can figure out what those weird squiggly orange lines are.
And then it was over to the Mandala design table. Finally something I knew something about. Art. A mandala, of course, is a generic term for any geometric pattern which represents a microcosm of the universe from the human perspective (thank you wikipedia). In other words, a round circle which draws your eye to the center. So I used the colors from my karma bracelet, which I just received from Fairygodmum (pictured above) and threw in some red and it turned out very colorful and vibrant. And they're going to take all the mandalas from the retreat and put them up on display at a local women's center, so sadly I don't have a copy to show you.
After lunch was really the most fun of the day though. There were two wonderfully whimsical African American women who brought in a large variety of African drums and other noise makers such as rainsticks and gourds and we got to get down in an African Drum Circle. I made sure I grabbed one of only about 5 drums. Why? Because I have always wanted to play me some African drums. Every summer when I go to our state fair, I am always too shy and intimidated to join in with the African Drum Circles that are playing all day....
EVEN THOUGH I REALLLLLLLY WANT TO!!!!
But I did today...on my djinbe...a drum carved from one piece of wood and covered with goat skin. They are said to possess a great spiritual capacity and the sound and energy coming from them are described as "women waiting to give birth to fire". I was just surprised that I actually DID have rhythm and could keep up with the leader. Damned surprised. I was also very surprised that most of the women in the circle didn't want to play the drums. They seemed really passive. But damn, I really loved beating those things....
Woman waiting to give birth to fire...indeed!
Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty