As something of a hedonist, I struggle with mindfulness because surely if I just eat the right apple fritter, drink the right spiked frozen apple cider, watch my favorite television shows and buy the right pair of boots, I’ll be living my best life. Mindfulness is something I also feel a certain amount of stubbornness towards because I had a Buddhist boyfriend once and it felt like then it would be a short hop onto complete detachment and not caring about all of the shallow things that make me happy and I’m not about the life. (Calm down, Buddhists. I know that it’s an incredibly long and difficult thing to obtain because I have been lectured on it excessively.)
So I tend towards extremes sometimes because that too is a bit of my hedonistic tendencies. Either it’s a scene from Pippin when he goes nuts in the countryside indulging in every whim ever or we are reenacting a significantly less fun version of Salem and there are no red stockings or beer for you, Goodwife Deborah. My intentions are sincere, but it’s hard to maintain either extreme. Generally what happens is I decide that I don’t really need to drink booze, vegetables are fine for breakfast and chicken is great for everything always. Then I get bored. Then it’s a super fun weekend binge of eating and drinking all the delicious things, having a fantastic time going out with friends and gossiping and geeking out and going shopping and lying in bed for forever and reading the books I want to read and watching all the things and putting my house back together from the week before and feeling all satisfied and happy with life. Then Monday morning it’s like the worst reality hang over ever where I know I will need to do tasks I don’t want to do and deal with workplace shenanigans so Monday morning I’m essentially trying to lodge my fingernails in the doorframe so I don’t have to do it.
I think about the things that Black Philip promised our girl in The VVitch and how part of why it was so special was because these were things she didn’t have ready access to while starving in New England and part of it is because while the promised items are pretty accessible in the modern age, they are still considered luxurious thanks to our inherited Puritanical roots. Binging wasn’t going to be an option for our girl, even under Black Philip’s care. For us on the other hand, I can’t speak for you but I’m always on the verge of my Gil Tarot’s 4 of Cups card (Satiety) which has four cups being overflowed with sickly wax. It’s clear in the card that it’s not good that the cups are overflowing here. It’s too much and it’s become gross. Which is what I’m always on the verge of.
I keep making offerings because it makes the house feel nice and I love looking at my altars when they are lit. I keep being unsure what to ask for exactly, or maybe more particularly, how to word it. This has not stopped the endless rounds of what I now call MamaFran complaints coming from my spirits (“Oh darling, the boy’s incense is getting ashes all over everything, be a lamb and do have a word?” “I couldn’t help but notice that when you were out buying cordial glasses, that you must have simply forgotten one for me–” “If you think this is clean enough to eat off then I suppose–“). This is why my uncle gets the lion’s share of everything. He was a cheerful bachelor who liked to eat and housekeeping was an afterthought. All I get is a vibe that he prefers whiskey over wine. He didn’t drink much, but he did buy my cousin Michelle a whiskey on the rocks at my wedding to Jow for her 21st birthday (and now she’s engaged herself), so it is perhaps that memory. I wish I could say that I have much of a verbal connection to my spirits besides the complaint department, but I don’t. Since my uncle rarely complains and only once in a while asks for a bite of this or that, I don’t hear much back. I wonder sometimes how offerings work – if all of my silent small gestures eventually add up to . . .something. Am I banking points like Sephora or just trying to be a good person? I don’t know.
When I was making offerings to make sure I always had heat and electricity, that was easy. When I was making offerings to be published, that was easy. Clear, direct goals. Now as a fat (published) housecat, who is planning on taking a Fiona Apple approach to her next book, I don’t know what I’m asking for. I had a moment, when I thought I wanted to live deliciously because who doesn’t? And I still do. But my auto-pilot/hedonist brain thinks living deliciously means taking on all the seven deadlies as a personal challenge with zero thought to the next day. Once in a blue moon, this feels ahmazing and we all need to be let off the leash on occasion right? But that’s not your every day life. And if it is, it tends to get messy fast. There are practical reasons for moderation, especially with age when your body is constantly telling you, that’s cute that you think you can do that. I can live deliciously just fine on the weekends, but what about my week days? That’s a lot of time to flush down the drain with no thought past auto piloting past food, work prep and television. And I have indeed been flushing that time. There’s a lot that I let fall by the wayside that doesn’t have to – drinking tea out of a tea cup and saucer with a teapot costs literally nothing. Ditto for a bath with all my stock piled bath goods. Also cooking food for enjoyment not as either eat this because you’re fat or eat this because fuck it but instead concentrating on cooking to feel good and enjoy eating it. Moon milk which I’m totally currently obsessed with. Reading a book. Making offerings. Signing up for small group personal training which is definitely not delicious at the time in any way shape or form. It is uncomfortable and makes me feel stupid because of all my coordination issues due to writing left handed and doing almost everything else right handed and giant boobs. I hate it. The delicious part for me comes from feeling centered in my body and strong in my body. I love feeling capable. I keep making improvements on my sanctuary space, now I have to let myself actually enjoy being in it. All of these things I can do to live more deliciously daily but I often don’t. So that’s really what I’m working on. How to live deliciously daily after an irritating day at work and to be present with what I actually enjoy and not just what I think I enjoy. It will take more work but there will be more reward.