Fourteen is hard. When home and school grew too much to bear, I turned to the woods. I'd walk the paths there, and the storm within would still. And when I left the woods I knew that, no, to live was better.
At first the woods were mine and I walked them fearlessly, but only by day. By night they belonged to themselves, and I feared to go there. To carry a light would have been a profanation, and I feared to walk in the dark.
But then I learned what still can't help but seem a metaphor.
Robert Eggers' newly-released film The Witch is a visually stunning, psychologically claustrophobic study of a family's collective descent into self-destructive madness, a parable of the dangers of spiritual arrogance.
It's also (Temple of Satan imprimatur notwithstanding) rather a bore.
An hour-and-a-half bore which, might I add, is utterly redeemed (I use the word judiciously) by 5 minutes of soul-searing, scintillating brilliance as young Tamsin encounters the Dark Lord, lips to nape, in (where else?) the goat shed.
Today I continue to honor the gods maligned by the atheists' graveyard. Medeina is deity number 30 from that list and is a Lithuanian forest goddess. I could not find out much about her so a short prayer is my offering.
Leshy (Lesiy Lesiye, Lyeshy, Lesovik) is a Slavic forest divinity or spirits, depending on the source. He is the protector of forest animals and often seen in the company of wolves or bears. This divinity regulates and assigns prey to hunters. In later times it is said that he has also become the protector of flocks and flocks. He is number 13 on my gods of the “graveyard” series. (I’m very surprised at the number of Slavic divinities that are on this list, but as my maternal ancestors come from this region, I’ve enjoyed learning about them.)
I sent my daughter off to school today. This a big milestone, both for parents and for children, a definitive and culturally recognized step down her spiral path. I delivered her into the care of strangers -- her first time to be supervised by someone unfamiliar. The week before we read books about going to school and I parceled out the treat of PBS shows on the same theme. We talked about it. On her first day I said encouraging things, told her I’d be back, and assured her that she’d have a wonderful time. And yet, she cried when I walked away. Of course she cried. She’s been in my energy field her whole life, and then I forced her to take a step that perhaps none of us would take willingly: a step away from the comforts of home into a strange new world.
(I must say, in today’s age of modern technology I certainly wished that her teachers could have sent me a text to let me know that she stopped crying. They can’t, of course, I understand that. And she stopped quickly, I’m told. Still, I worried until the first hour passed without a phone call.)