Reintroducing Walhydra’s Porch: In which Walhydra reconnects with mortal life

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Who is Walhydra?

Walhydra became a storytelling alter-ego for me in the mid-1990s on the Crone Thread, an email listserv of mostly Pagan, mostly women elders, folk who understand, revere, and emulate the crone aspect of the Goddess.

The Crone is that feminine aspect of the Divine which, in the form of a human being past childbearing age, strives on behalf of the race to learn about and teach the terrors and blessings of mortality.  She does

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Both

We never know.
That morning

I kept my hand
+++on our ailing cat’s belly
+++as he purred.

In communion with him
+++even while
+++grief tore through me.

Some say not to borrow grief
+++before time
+++but to
+++stay in the moment.

Yet

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Shadow: grief and matri

Shadow the cat, on his couch ramp

This morning, our crippled elderly cat would not eat.

In recent years we’ve nursed this 16-year-old through one crisis after another, always watching him rebound to his usual, sweet, attention-demanding self.  Now he’s on shots for arthritis and extensive intervertebral disc degeneration.

He gets around with a hind end that stumbles and flops. The vet says the palliative shot keeps him from feeling pain, but I imagine that he is doing more physical damage every time he moves—especially when he

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The pain of witnessing & the action of caring

11/23/2020 Poor People's Campaign caravan in Topeka KS

care (v.)
Old English carian, cearian “be anxious or solicitous; grieve; feel concern or interest,” from Proto-Germanic *karo- “lament,” hence “grief, care” (source also of Old Saxon karon “to lament, to care, to sorrow, complain,” Old High German charon “complain, lament,” Gothic karon “be anxious”), said to be from PIE root *gar- “cry out, call, scream.” —Online Etymology Dictionary

Our hyper-connected media world forces us all to wrestle with an extra layer of emotional suffering: that

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Gardening

How can a virus travel
+++and not love?

Or are we not now all infected
with shame
+++at our human nakedness?

We don’t want to know our own evil
so profess good, pretending
+++to smile without hurting.

So painful.

The Tiananmen butterfly warns us:
cyclones we’ve stirred with our grasping
+++While the world shudders.

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“Howling” – November 7, 2009

Introductions: Mom died with Alzheimer’s in 2011. In Fall of 2009, we had moved her from assisted living to skilled nursing due to fall risk and escape seeking. Howling,” from my blog Walhydra’s Porch on 11/9/2009, tells of our last coherent conversation about death.

Quill & InkWalhydra is one of my storytelling alter-egos: a grouchy old witch unhappily reincarnated as a gay male would-be writer.

When things with Mom

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Loss of shared space: the second pandemic

Image of empty coffeehouse through window

What happens when much of the human race suddenly loses the safety of sharing physical space? Does this loss go deeper than the pandemic itself? How do we heal from this great social wound?

Most living people have never had to notice how essential the mutual sharing of physical space is—until now.

Worship, school, work, shopping, eating out, going to bars, restaurants, coffeehouses, sporting events, and on, and on. We social animals live and breathe these hours of visceral physical

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