Anniversary – to be Con’t

Yesterday was the anniversary of my adopted mom’s death. I’ll be posting more about that over the weekend, when I will be making some ancestral observances and ritual. I did not want it to go unremarked here, however, and this is the first access i’ve had to my computer since very early yesterday.

Fuensanta Arismendi Plaza 1950-2010 came into my life like a miracle from the Gods. She preserved and nourished me, and loved me dearly in all ways but the most obviously literal, my mother. It’s cliche to say of someone who has died that there isn’t a day that goes by that one doesn’t think about them, but it’s true and even being a shaman and ancestor worker didn’t soften the blow of her death. (You’d think working with the dead, and having that access to the Gods and spirits would make such a thing easier, more comprehensible, common place but it didn’t. Not in the least).

The first few years after her death i found myself wanting to collect everything that she had touched, every picture, every item, ever tiny scrap of paper. I realized early on i was trying to summon the corporeal sense of her presence but…it doesn’t work. When her partner died she burned almost everything that he owned. At the time she told me this, i was appalled. I tend to use things as mnemonic devices and there’s a comfort in being able to pick up a trinket and unroll a complicated memory. She told me then that they wouldn’t bring him back and that it was somehow obscene that these things existed when he no longer did. While I still cherish the things that she gave me, she’s right. They do not create that conduit. They do not evoke that presence. They do not in any way create the corporeal sense of presence here and now. Memory and ancestor work is the best we have.

For me, telling stories about all our adventures and how we met and sharing her letters (I have reams and reams of them), and hauling out her pictures (oh how she hated to have her picture taken) to and with my partner, who never met her in life, has been very healing. I worry that I will forget the ins and outs of our time together. I worry that one day I won’t remember what her culture Basel accent sounded like, or how she moved, or what we did when we went to that little town outside of Montreux that time when we were in Switzerland, or what it was like when we were together, what it was like to be so deeply loved by one’s mother, what it was like to have a mother who was also one’s best friend.

Grief still weighs me down and i know that when she died she took a part of my soul with her. There is a part of me that is emptied out of life, because she is not here to anchor me to living anymore. There is a part of me that went with her across that chasm of life into death. There is a part of me that will never find its way back and that’s ok. It’s fitting. I would rather that connection be shared still than to live whole with no part of my heart marked by her passing.

I will write more about this later.

Advertisements

About ganglerisgrove

Free-range tribalist Heathen, Galina Krasskova, has been a priest of Odin and Loki since the early nineties. Originally ordained in the Fellowship of Isis in 1995, Ms. Krasskova also attended the oldest interfaith seminary in the U.S.- the New Seminary where she was ordained in 2000 and where she later worked as Dean of Second Year Students for the Academic year of 2011-2012. She has even given the opening prayer at the United Nations Conference “Women and Indigeny”. Beyond this, she took vows as a Heathen gythia in 1996 and again in 2004, She is the head of Comitatus pilae cruentae and a member of the Starry Bull tradition. She has been a member of numerous groups through the years including the American Academy of Religion. She has also served previously as a state government contracted expert on the Asatru faith, and been a regular contributor to various print and online publications geared towards modern pagans and polytheists, and for a time had her own radio program: Wyrd Ways Radio Live. Ms. Krasskova holds diplomas from The New Seminary (2000), a B.A. in Cultural Studies with a concentration in Religious Studies from Empire State College (2007), and an M.A. in Religious Studies from New York University (2009). She has completed extensive graduate coursework in Classics (2010-2016) and is pursuing a Masters in Medieval Studies at Fordham University (expected graduation 2019) with the intention of eventually doing a PhD in theology. She has also been teaching University classes in Greek and Latin. As part of her academic career Ms. Krasskova has written a number of academic articles, and also presented at various academic conferences including Harvard University, Claremont University, Fordham University, Ohio State University, Western Michigan University, Villanova University, and the City University of New York. An experienced diviner and ordeal master, her primary interest is in devotional work and the reconstruction of Northern Tradition shamanism. Her very first book, The Whisperings of Woden was the landmark first devotional text to be written in modern Heathenry. Ms. Krasskova has a variety of published books available running the gamut from introductory texts on the Northern Tradition, as well as books on shamanism, runes, prayer, and devotional practices. She is also the managing editor of “Walking the Worlds,” a peer-reviewed academic style journal focusing on contemporary polytheism and spirit work and the first journal of polytheology. While very busy with teaching and school, she does also occasionally lecture around the country on topics of interest to contemporary Heathenry and polytheisms. A passionate supporter of the arts Ms. Krasskova enjoys going to the opera, theater, and ballet. Her affection for the arts began early as she discovered dance, which she pursued professionally becoming a ballet dancer: first with a regional company in Maryland, then in New York City. After suffering career ending injuries, she would find new forms of expression in the visual arts. For a few years Ms. Krasskova co-owned an art gallery in the Hudson River Valley of New York, and over a course of numerous years she has studied a multitude of art mediums: glassblowing, watercolor, acrylic, photography and more! She is now an avid collage artist, acrylic painter and watercolorist and has even enjoyed placement in international artist-in-residencies programs in New York, New Mexico, and Poland. Her work has been exhibited globally from New York to Paris. She has taken her passion for the arts and polytheistic devotion, to create the Prayer Card Project. Since so much religious iconography has been destroyed, or defaced in the course of human history, she is actively making new religious prayers and iconography available to the various modern polytheistic communities to support those who are building their religious communities, building their devotional practices, and hungering for art that represents their religious faith. All while also supporting the artists within these burgeoning communities.

Posted on February 4, 2015, in Ancestor Work, Memento mori and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Thank you for sharing. This is really beautiful and I share so many of those same feelings regarding my husband who passed. Fears about forgetting, feeling like half of my heart is in the underworld already… and the weight of his loss that is sometimes so heavy yet feeling like I can’t let go because I’m not willing to release one ounce of the love or significance of what we shared.

    Like

  2. ‘While I still cherish the things that she gave me, she’s right. They do not create that conduit. They do not evoke that presence. They do not in any way create the corporeal sense of presence here and now. Memory and ancestor work is the best we have.’

    Thank you, Galina, for this reminder. I cling to such tidbits of my Parents. It is so hard to unclench my fingers and raise my hands in prayers to them and for them. As you say, Ancestor Work and Memory is the best we have…and a Setting of Lights in their honor.

    Like

  3. Very beautiful, Galina. Fuensanta Arismendi Plaza sounded like an amazing women and a great mother.

    Like

  4. I never met Fuensanta, but I’ve heard about her, and read some of her writings about Sigyn, and she sounds like she was a amazing woman. ❤

    Like

  5. Reblogged this on Ironwood Witch and commented:
    “The first few years after her death i found myself wanting to collect everything that she had touched, every picture, every item, ever tiny scrap of paper. I realized early on i was trying to summon the corporeal sense of her presence but…it doesn’t work. When her partner died she burned almost everything that he owned. At the time she told me this, i was appalled. I tend to use things as mnemonic devices and there’s a comfort in being able to pick up a trinket and unroll a complicated memory. She told me then that they wouldn’t bring him back and that it was somehow obscene that these things existed when he no longer did. While I still cherish the things that she gave me, she’s right. They do not create that conduit. They do not evoke that presence. They do not in any way create the corporeal sense of presence here and now. Memory and ancestor work is the best we have.”

    Like

%d bloggers like this: