“I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with typewriters.”
Frank Lloyd Wright

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

"And the poets call on Her, too."
Wed 2011-02-02 23:02:35 (in context)
  • 994 words (if poetry, lines) long

Today, Feb 2, is Imbolc, one of the eight Sabbats celebrated in the Wiccan calendar and sacred to many other Pagan traditions as well. Though today's Pagan religious systems vary as to how much actual Real True Ancient Traditions they contain, Imbolc was indeed celebrated in pre-Christian times. It was the feast day of the Goddess Brigid, beloved of the Celts. And when Christianity took hold in the region, she became Saint Brigid, and her Day became Candlemas.

Now, Brigid and Brigid's Day have connections to all things dairy, because Brigid watches over the milk-bearing livestock. Google up the two words "brigid dairy" and you'll find a bunch of them named after Her. Imbolc falls at the time of the year when the cows and the ewes first begin producing milk for the year. And so Brigid watches over dairies, those who work the dairies, and the young animals who need that milk to thrive.

But Brigid has other concerns: healing, the tending of the sick and the poor, the waxing of the light from late winter into early spring. And She is the patron Goddess of those who create. She has a particular affinity for blacksmiths. "And the poets call on Her, too...."

Now you know what poets are like – they are people who feed their souls on beauty, and a verse that won’t run to its meter is as painful to them as a wrenched knee is to the rest of us. But a poet wants more, too – a poet wants a verse to go out and do some good; for the poet shapes the verse – which is what the root of the word poetry means, after all – but then she sets the verse out to do some shaping of its own. So the poets call on Brigid, saying, Brigid, heal my words so that they run to the meter, and Brigid, light the flame of inspiration so that I can bend the words to my purpose, but most of all, they say, Brigid, let my words go out to others to be a source of wisdom, wisdom that does the service of healing, and wisdom that gives the gift that is needed, and wisdom that inspires the souls of women and men.
That's an excerpt from Literata's gorgeous retelling of Brigid's stories, or at least a goodly handful of Brigid's stories because Brigid's stories are so plentiful as to have no end.

And so this comes right back around to yr. humble Blogger, who's a bit of a lapsed Wiccan, or at least an inobservant one, but who couldn't let the day go by with out acknowledging Imbolc, and Brigid, and Brigid's gifts of wisdom and inspiration to poets. You see I've been at Her altar today--there's a word count on the new story. There's a whole bunch of new scenes. They're not very good yet, they're only 1st draft and then some, but, as I've found, I can't write the story right the first time. It's got to be down on the page before I can figure out what the story really is.

Not that it should take a High Holy Sabbat to get me writing--but I wasn't going to not write today. Not hardly.

Maybe tomorrow I can finish that first draft and really figure myself out. And maybe I can also figure out what good this story wants to do in the world. We're in the entertainment industry, us fiction writers, we live by our ability to make readers turn pages, but there's other stuff a good story does. I'm not always sure what else my stories are doing, especially the ones down on the Horror end of the Fantasy spectrum like this one, but when I get 'em right, I know they do something. Brigid knows better than I what that something is, I suppose. I can't go after it in specific. I can only write the best story I can, and trust in that touch of Her grace.

Oh! And I also messed around in the dairy, so to speak. I mean, that jug of milk that's a bit past its expiry date? I made it into paneer. Hooray for paneer! John and me and Avedan all nibbled a bit of the trimmed edges before I put the squared slab into the freezer bag where I accumulate paneer against the next time I make saag. Which should be around spinach harvest time. Eostre, maybe?