It’s in there, burrowed down deep inside like a parasite.
It’s my mother voice, nasal and deep fried and tainted yellow by cigarette smoke snarking
“You see your Hell here on Earth.”
It’s in there, burrowed down deep inside like a parasite.
It’s my mother voice, nasal and deep fried and tainted yellow by cigarette smoke snarking
“You see your Hell here on Earth.”
noun a manuscript or piece of writing material on which the original writing has been effaced to make room for later writing but of which traces remain. something reused or … Continue reading Palimpsest
I live in the Southeastern United States. Winter, to us, is only a slight reprieve from oppressive damp heat and endless pollen. That being said, I have no idea how to drive on an icy road. If it’s icy, I retreat further into my home and refuse to venture out. I’m a horrible driver on a good day. So when the roads are compromised I’m extra dangerous. It’s not intentional, I’m just a bad driver. Winter weather just adds to my inability.
Sometimes though, you can’t avoid the icy roads. Sometimes you need to go out for milk, or toilet paper, or medicine. And sometimes the icy roads are not actually roads connecting geographic locations. Sometimes those icy roads are genetic paths that connect people.
I’m on one of those roads right now. I’m revisiting a relationship I had put a Dead End sign on long ago. I’m realizing that so much of the narrative that played in my mind for all these years was not only seasoned by other people’s agendas, but was mostly hypothetical. I had created wars in my head where there were just misunderstandings. The mountains I made and were struggling to carry, actually might have been mole hills.
With that, I’m facing the hard realization that the people I backed never really were backing me. Imagine standing the the corner for someone’s fight only for them to use your battles to hype their own. Someone I thought was a wise and caring person is actually nothing more than a gaslighting soul leech. Narcissistic abuse comes in all shapes and sizes. I realize now that my naivete and gullibility lead me like breadcrumbs through the forest right to the door of a storybook villain.
There’s so much I need to reassess. So many things I need to judge clearly on my own. So much to unpack. While I do that, the cold stays and ice continue to form. This road isn’t getting any less clear.
For right now, I’m just trying to stay in my own lane.
Postface: This is not about my significant other. Mr. Conjure and Coffee and I are wonderful.
At the end of last school year, a flyer was sent home with JoBean for a local Back to School Bash. The Bash was being sponsored by several local churches and small businesses. All those who registered and attended would be given a free pair of shoes, free school supplies, and treated to a hot dog dinner. I spent a day or two trying to decide whether to sign up. While sometimes we have financial struggles, we still do okay. I was worried that us signing up might take a spot away from someone who needed it more. I brought the issue up to my sister-in-law, and we discussed how missing out on opportunities because someone might need it more is detrimental. So I went online and sign JoBean up.
It’s been a while since I posted about the kids. As a refresher ,my lovely cast of characters includes:
School ended and summer began. We did summer things and soon the day of the Bash was upon us. On the drive over to the event, JoBean and I revisited a conversation we had many times before. We discussed how different people believe in different things. We talked about how most people in this area, and America for the most part, are Christians. He, like pretty much the whole of our family, doesn’t identify as such. He talked to me about what he believes in. I talked to him about what I believed in. He talked about how the other kids at school treated him and how sometimes, it wasn’t very nice. We both agreed that being a part of a religion doesn’t make you a good person or make you an asshole. It’s who you are at your core. I also really worked on him to understand how important it is to allow people to believe the way they want . We don’t have to agree on what we believe, but we should allow other people to believe it.
We arrived about 15 minutes before the start of the event. I snagged us a good parking spot and we took our place in line. A light rain began to fall while we waited. It was a nice reprieve from the temperatures we had endured during the summer. When the doors opened, they started allowing groups of fifteen to enter at a time. We were in the third group taken.
We went in and signed the entrance forms and were quickly directed to the shoe room. It was there that things took a turn. This was not just a find your size and style shoe event. It was a huge conference room filled with shoe boxes, sock boxes, and a row of people kneeling in front of wooden chairs washing children’s feet. Apparently something I had skipped in the initial sign up was that a major sponsor of this event was Samaritan’s Feet. Samaritan’s Feet is a Charlotte, NC based charitable organization that, in their words “serves & inspires hope in children by providing shoes as the foundation to a spiritual & healthy life…”. Part of their mission includes washing children’s feet, praying with them, and providing them with well fitting, brand new shoes.
And that’s what they were doing. It was a like a well oiled machine in that room. Some people were running back and forth finding correct sizes. Some people were wrist deep in soapy water, chatting up giggling kids. Others were power walking discarding and refilling bowl after bowl of water as children and their parents shuffled through the line. We collectively were a little taken aback. When it was JoBean’s turn, we, with both Littles in tow, were shown to a chair and met a very excited lady. She politely asked JoBean if he’d like his feet washed to which he politely declined. So instead of that, they spent a minute chatting about what he was looking forward to in the upcoming school year. While he was being fitted for shoes, another lady came over and offered to let the two little ones get shoes as well. I explained that they weren’t registered and wouldn’t be attending school for a while. She patted Miss MarMar on the head and said it didn’t matter and helped me show them to their chairs. While I buzzed around the three of them, I noticed the the lady with JoBean asked if she could pray for him and he said okay. Together they held hands and closed their eyes. I have to admit, even as a Pagan, this made my heart swell. She didn’t pray that he find God or any of the other backhanded prayers you could imagine. She prayed that he have a good year and had help when he needed it. Those prayers were not much different than the ones I had whispered to my own gods for him. After an honest hug which left me a little misty eyed, we collected the Littles and our brand new shoes and moved on to the next station.
There JoBean received a new backpack and a slew of supplies to fill it up. We ended our walk around the school supply rodeo with more hugs and giggles and some major excitement over brand new shoes. According to JoBean, his new shoes were both “boss” and “baller”. The light rain of the morning had turned into a full on summer rain storm, so we skipped the hot dog line and ran to our car. In stark contrast to the clouds in the sky, the spirits of everyone in the car were light and shining. Even after all the overstimulation, everyone was in an upbeat mood. I drove us home were we rushed in out of the rain for lunch.
This event was so important. All the kids had a chance to be exposed to a belief structure that was much different from their own. And it was in a positive way. They were able to see that just because we are different, doesn’t mean we have to be separated. Love is a connective fiber that runs through all of us. When we tap into it, and extend our share to others, the feelings we create are magical. No matter the name, love is magic. And love for our fellow man is the best magic of all.
So you’ve probably noticed a few changes around here.
So what’s up with “Conjure” replacing “Legos”?
I feel like life is a little more than kid related. Don’t get me wrong, being a mom is something I take pretty seriously. It’s what I do. It’s my job. But, I’ve gotten to a point where I feel that it defines all of what I am. At some point a while back I stopped being Angela completely. I’m tired of that. And if I want that to change, I have to change it with myself first. And to do that, I have to nurture the parts of myself I want to grow.
The esoteric and arcane been something that I have been filled with for a very, very long time. If you’d like to read more about this, check out my post Angela, Ascending here. My journey into finding and practicing my craft is important to me. I’ve neglected the song playing in my soul for too long. I need to listen and find my way back to it again. I might as well chronicle it here.
This doesn’t mean that everything is going to turn into being about spirituality. There’s still going to be the normal bullshit. Its still a personal/lifestyle blog, so you’ll get to keep on hearing about my everyday adventures. My journey through domestica is one that I feel is worth sharing. There’s some sort of crazy magic in everyday life. I think that we often overlook it because we’re inundated with the desire for something extravagant. We’re always pushed to want something better or something new. I think you can be simple and fabulous at the same time. I think that finding the perfectness in everyday chaos is an important battle. I’d like to share mine.
Also, Legos is a copyrighted term. Me and my dumb self never gave that any thought before. Lego building blocks are everywhere in our house. All four of my kiddos love them. So being surrounded by them I figured they would make a catchy title. And it did! At least to me. I hope to like make this blog legit one day, so looking ahead, it might be wise to pull the name out. Id like to spare me any sort of legal discourse. The previous posts, under the legosandcoffee name, are still available.
I also jazzed up the look of the blog. Sometimes you have to try a new color of lipstick to feel better. Hopefull, it makes the blog more appealing. My long term goal, like I stated above, it to move this from a side gig (lets not shit ourselves, “an often forgotten gig” would be more accurate) to a major thing. I follow some awesome bloggers around the internet. Women that have inspired and challenged me. I’d like to jump into the big kids pool and see if I can swim. (Spoiler alert: I can’t. Water is my foe.)
I hope you enjoy the changes. I really dig them. I think this will help me to be more active and, hopefully, interesting.
I remember sitting cross legged on the floor of the bookstore, running my fingers over the spines of the books on the bottom shelf. Tucked in the back corner of the small store, no one noticed the monumental moment that was about to happen. My pre teen brain was a storm of anxiousness and contentment. Slowly I zeroed in on a purple covered book written by an author with a perfectly picked New Age-y pseudonym. I pulled the book from the shelf and my life was changed. A magical moment had just occurred.
I was in a mall in North Carolina and I was just about to purchase my first book on witchcraft.
That book would not be the first time younger me had been pulled towards the nonconventional. I think I was born with one foot in and one foot out of this world. My dad would tell stories about how once I began to talk, I would tell him and my mother about the “Old Timey Days”, or my life before. I have no clear memory of these stories. Just a faint haze like a billboard passed at night. According to my dad though, they were yarns that a preschool kid shouldn’t be able to think up. What I do remember, even back in those pre school days, is feeling like there was more to the world than what everyone else saw.
Religion was an odd thing in my home growing up. We didn’t go to church or practice anything really, but the idea of God was the ultimate rule. Like when I was 8 and wanted to get my ears pierced, the answer was “If God had wanted you to have holes in your ears, you’d been born with them.” This line of reasoning continued until I finally bit the bullet and got them done at 17.
I never could accept that idea. Christianity never sat right with me. Who was God and why was he the only one? Why did we have to perform by these certain rules to please him? What about all these stories in mythology and lore? Why can’t they be as true as the stories from the Bible? No matter who I asked, no one had answers for me. Most people told me I was wrong to even ask. So that’s when I turned to literature.
I was always checking out horror novels and collections of ghost stories. I read a lot as a kid. I had some physical ailments that, at least in my mother’s eyes, limited what I could do. So that kept my nose in a book. It was in those worlds that I found things to believe in. The gray ghost of the Carolina coast, the poor women who were burned at the stake in Salem, the shamans and medicine men that were here before us white folk landed. Those were things I had faith in. The supernatural became something I found, well, natural.
That belief never left. I grew up as the weird kid. Now I’m the weird mom. But lately, this weird mom has been feeling dimmed, forgotten, and overworked. It’s the classic caregiver’s problem. You give so much of yourself, you don’t have any left over. I let my interest in the supernatural and paranormal wane so I could focus on dinners and school, milestones, and laundry. I gave up my magic. And I’ve been struggling without it.
I want to capture some of that feeling from the bookstore again. After getting my wake up call from the Universe, I’m ready to go explore. I’m ready to re-embrace what for so long has made who I really and truly am.
It’s time to ascend. And that’s just what I’m going to do.
Some people say that when you are open to it, the Universe guides you. That it gives you gifts, like a mama cat leaving a half dead mouse on your pillow. It knows you need the nourishment, but even more so, that you need the experience. The limitations of my experiences kept me for totally agreeing that was gospel. I think too much, second guess myself too often. And that’s clogged up my ability to see and review these gifts from the Universe. That is until this happened. This chain linked series of events opened my eyes and showed me that, if you pay attention sometimes you get just what you need to be laid right out in front of you.
In the early hours of a Tuesday morning, some unlucky bastard ran his car off the road and into a tree. The driver was fine, but the tree was not. It had found itself a brand new home by crashing into a substation that supplied power to a large section of this small town. That power outage split the lumbering county in half. The northern half had power, while those to the south were without.
It was on that Tuesday morning I had an appointment out in the southeastern part of town. I don’t follow local news so I had no idea there was a widespread power outage. My only concern was getting two kids into a car and being able to make an 8:45 am appointment. Ever try to get two kids under the age of 5 ready and out the door in a quick and timely manner? Yeah, it’s about as easy as tying snakes in knots. Somehow, we all ended up where we needed to be with ten minutes to spare. It was then that we caught up with local events.
“M’am, we ain’t got any power. You’re gonna have to call and reschedule.” A very exasperated lady standing in a darkened door hollered at me across the parking lot.
Seat belts were buckled and kid tears were shed. Apparently, not being able to go into the darkened unairconditioned building was heartbreaking. I pulled out of the parking lot only slightly more annoyed than I should have been and started home.
I passed the DMV, giving them a mental middle finger for making me wait the last time I was in there half a year before. I passed the consignment shop that had a mouse problem last time I had visited. I passed the yellow house with the little yellow well house out front that I’ve loved since I was a kid. I slowed down after that house because the new police station was just up ahead, right past the fabrication shop that was owned by one of my distant cousins. More specifically, my dad’s uncle’s son.
And there, sitting on the tailgate of a blue S-10 was my father.
Here is the part where I tell you that I’m not on best terms with my biological family. I’ll explain it all later, but remember Cinderella? Well, instead of an evil Stepmother and stepsisters, I had an evil Mother and a father who was on his third marriage and was getting close to his fifties when I was born. When I married my husband, the ties were severed. After a few tries, I realized that my mother just wasn’t good for my mental health. The drawback was that cutting her out, cut him out too. I’ve never fully recovered from that.
So to see him, after all these years, just sitting there talking smack with the fellas caught my breath in my throat. The decision was easy. I was there. I had a block of time suddenly empty. Without turning on my blinker, I gave in to the message the Universe was sending me. I turned into the gravel parking lot and got out of the car.
Two minutes later, I was wrapped in my father’s arms.
I want to tie this back to my original point. Because of a series of unfortunate events, I got to see my father. It was exactly what I needed. The Universe gift wrapped an experience just for me. And by not second guessing it, I received two things. One was a salve on a decade old wound. And the other was the first step of a relationship with something greater than myself.
I’m listening Universe. You don’t have to knock out the power to get my attention again.
At 6:58 am, my phone rang. I could tell by the Mariachi music that it was my not-biological-but-pretty-much brother. I’ve curated a family that is no kin to me to make up for the one genetics left me with. I promise you, the Build Your Own Family Adventure is totally worth it.
I was wrist deep in biscuit dough and drowning in breakfast prep so I had to let his call go to voicemail. When I was able I shot him a text to ask what was up. During the waiting between my text and him returning my call, I found out that Chris Cornell had died. When we got on the phone finally, that was the reason for the call.
It was by accident that I found Soundgarden in middle school. I think it was swapping CDs on the band bus when Superunknown found it’s way into my ears. It quickly became one of my frequently played albums. Even when I bounced around, experimenting with genres of music (yeah, I was totally into nu-metal for a long while) Soundgarden and their grunge brethren were with me. When Audioslave hit, I was instantly in love. There were many, many time Chris Cornell and his four-octave vocals held my hand, iced my burns, and sang me to sleep.
It seemed like the news that it was suicide hit as fast and as hard as his death did. Reports seem split on if he had exhibited signs of depression or not. The trouble with depression is that for a lot of us, the “signs” have been around so long they’ve just become who we are. So often we hide behind a mask so thick, it hides our struggle from even those closest to us.
I can’t speak for Chris, I only know my own story. But I know that hiding your true struggles becomes an art form. We live in a world where mental illness is constantly second guessed and made light of. There’s still this stigma that hangs over us. Tell someone you broke your arm and they say go to the doctor. Tell them you feel depressed and they ask if you’ve tried just feeling better. As if it was that simple.
If you’re fighting that fight, please know you aren’t alone. It’s easy to feel that way. At times it’s comforting.But these are not battles you have to wage alone. There are people there to help you. National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24 hours a day online and on the phone (1-800-273-8255). Here is a link from PsychCentral with numbers for hotlines that specialize various issues.
You are not alone in this. Needing help is not weakness. Asking for help is one of the strongest things you can do. Let’s support each other.
Now please excuse me while I damage my hearing by blasting some Soundgarden/Audioslave/Temple of the Dog.
I mean seriously, what the fuck is going on? I honestly thought by the time I reached my 30s I’d be an “adult” and I’d know what everything was and how everything worked. I had always gotten the impression as a child that anyone over the age of 29 was a certified pro in adulting. For the pass few years Ive been waiting on that feeling to hit me. Like puberty for the soul. And it hasn’t! I thought by now I’d be some serious woman who knows the ins and outs of every situation. I’d be all newspaper and political reform, town meetings and stock indexes. I’d know how the world works and what mature decisions to make.
Spoiler alert: I don’t know shit. I almost have no clue what the fuck is going on. I know things are about to take a nasty turn here in America. I dont understand how we’ve gotten this far. Or how exactly when people forgot about being brothers with their fellow man. That , especially right now, is common. I’m just…still so unsure about everything. I keep looking around for an adult to help talk me through disarming this life bomb. But there aren’t any, and Im stuck with all these wires and only one that can be cut.
I take care of my shit. I raise my babies and wife my husband. But most of the time, I’d rather be curled up somewhere cerebrum in superheroes and scary stories. Sometimes I can’t handle how mean people are. How obsessed with themselves and petty they seem. I have trouble understanding the speed at which this life machine works. A few months can feel like forever but then years pass in a blink. How are we suppose to survive if the cards just keep staking against us?
When will all this nonsense make sense?
Maybe the key question is: Is there any sense to make out of all this?
I attempted a blog challenge. I posted about it here. Obviously, it was a failure since I took a year long sabbatical and never came back. I think a lot had to do with the fact that I committed to doing it without fully falling in love with it. Looking back now, I am not fond of the prompts themselves. It feels….shallow? After doing this list, I might overhaul the entire idea and start again. But I’ll at least try to get through this one thing. It was my goal, so I’m going to do it.
Let’s start back where I left off and give it another go.
So let’s say today is day 11 and the prompt is “List 15 of your favorite things”. Why they didn’t have it be “List 11 of your favorite things” seems like a miss to me.
Ya know what? I think I’m done with this list. Look, I have a lot of favorite things. Listing them here seems so redundant. I know the point is to “get to know” me better, but this isn’t fun. Like I said above, Im going to need to overhaul this whole thing. I want writing here to be a release, not another thing that stresses me. And for some reason, this list stresses.
So, there’s that. I’ll figure something out. Something enjoyable for me and for you, the reader.