Wendy Rule Blog

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rough Landing

Some homecomings are easier than others. This one was particularly hard. Although I was, of course, looking forward to home after 5 weeks on the road, I was very sad about leaving Tim for a month. We couldn't' really justify another international ticket for the short visit home, so he's still in the Winter lands of Nevada. We speak every day, which is wonderful, but a month apart for Lovers is a long, long time! Here's a photo of us in the snow. The old self-timer routine.

So after a wonderful tour I found myself back home and jetlagged, and then became horribly ill. Our bodies are amazing things. Mine is very resilient considering the crazy schedules that I put myself through. But I think once I arrived home and my tired body found my own bed, it simply went "Ah, now at last I can give in". So I manifested a nasty and very painful sinus infection that had me laid up for a good few days. I would have, in fact, liked to spend longer in bed as I'd just finished re-reading an amazing book, and could have done with some time to lie back and integrate all it's complexity. The book was The Magus, by John Fowles, and I think this must be the third or fourth time I've read it over the past 20 years. But no, it was ever onward for me, as I had a trip booked to Tasmania for the weekend.

On top of all that, I also discovered that my black cat Kitty (official name Midnight) was also very ill. She'd been hunting rats, (very graciously deposited two of them on my kitchen floor upon my homecoming) and they had clearly put up a fight. She had a big wound on her neck that needed tending. As luck would have it, my excellent next door neighbour Ri has trained as a vet, so we've spent the week getting Kitty back in shape. It's distressing, isn't it, when your animal friends are injured.

I must say, one of the things that I noticed most strongly when laid up in bed was the incredible variety and intensity of the bird song here in Australia. It's like nowhere else I've ever been.  I dragged myself outdoors one morning and went for a wander down to the river. I saw and heard so many gorgeous birds, including our beautiful Magpie which offered it's haunting warbling song. I also saw two different kinds of native dove, some mudlarks, some bright green parrots, Ravens, willy wagtails, a flock of screeching cockatoos, an Indian miner, some native ducks, some bell birds, and I heard the hilarious call of the Kookaburra. That was all within about half an hour! It felt good to see Merri Creek gurgling it's path through the city once more. In the picture below it's hard to imagine that the city is so closely encroaching upon this little haven. That's why I've managed to live in the centre of Melbourne all these years.

So, to continue with my little narrative. On Thursday my sister Kathy and I caught the boat over to Tasmania. I was heading over for a friend's wedding, and Kathy decided to come along. It was a real treat and a wonderful adventure. The ship takes about 12 hours (overnight) through the very rough seas of Bass Straight. Kath felt a bit ill, but I know I'm an old sailor at heart, and loved the wild motion of the ship. We landed in Devonport to a glorious bright morning and spent the day exploring this beautiful state as we made our way South to Hobart. Cataract Gorge in Launceston was magnificent, ( that's my sister Kathy in the picture of the gorge below) as was the bright early morning sun over the Tamar Valley.

We picked up Rachel from Hobart airport in the afternoon, and it was while waiting there that I received some deeply sad news. My dear friend Richard Samson had died. He had been ill for many months, and we knew that death would claim him soon, but that didn't make it any easier. I was so relieved that I was at least back in Australia, but frustrated that I was interstate and couldn't be there immediately to grieve with, and offer support to his wife Amanda. I had seen him less than a week before, on the Sunday after I returned home, and we had spent a lovely afternoon in the sun, sharing stories and laughter. He was a truly beautiful man and we'll all miss him dearly. The funeral is on Monday and Amanda asked if I could sing. I told her I'd give it my best try. I've decided to sing Horses, to honour his brave and wild nature.

So I attended my friend's wedding on Saturday, which was extremely beautiful. I could feel my sadness laying like a cloak upon me, and didn't want to bring that to the event, so I put on a very brave face. And all under that intense lunar magnificence! Due to a cloudy Hobart sky on Saturday, I didn't get to see Her until Sunday night, but oh, it was worth the wait. Here are some photos of Her veiled beauty as she flirted with us over the harbour. I love the one of her suspended between the masts of the sailing ship. They are both dark, but look better if you enlarge them.

With all of this going on, the Autumn Equinox nearly passed me by. Thankfully my dear friend Nick was around to remind me of the importance of Ritual, so we did a lovely bit of magic around the fire in my backyard on Monday night.  It was good to feel the flow of balance accross the planet, and to honour both the dark and the light.

So yes, a very rough landing indeed. I"m feeling much better now and am starting to process my grief. I was very grateful to have both Kathy and Rachel there with me over the weekend, nurturing me and creating wonderful adventures. Oh, I must say, the new Mona Gallery in Hobart is stunning. It rivals any gallery I've seen in the world. Really, really worth the trip down if you're in Australia. Mindblowing!

Until next time, then

Love and Magic


Monday, March 7, 2011

Nature Patterns

I'ts morning, and I'm sipping coffee as I write from a ranch on the outskirts of  the wild west town of Winnemucca, Nevada. Winter is beginning to give way to spring, and there are only a few patches of snow left on the ground. I'm told that the quail have returned, but I haven't  seen them yet. Yesterday I climbed up to the rocky outcrop on the nearest hill and breathed in the epic and rugged beauty of the valley and surrounding snow capped mountains. It's gorgeous here. And hey, I got to experience my first Rodeo yesterday. Real live cowboys and cowgirls. Pretty cool!

It's been an amazing couple of weeks since I've last written, and it feels good to be here, slowing down and  finding time to write again. This stage of our journey began with a drive up the legendary coastal highway 1 in California. Very similar to our Great Ocean road in my home state of Victoria. Crashing waves against high cliffs and the road dangerously close to the edge. We were caught in a hail storm at one point, which was wonderfully scary.

The road led us to the seaside town of Monterey, home of the world renowned Aquarium. I love Aquariums. They send me into a dream like trance and I feel so connected to the Ocean creatures. I was once told that I had a past life as a mermaid in Atlantis, but I bet they say that to all the mermaids! And yes, it truly was a fantastic experience. I especially loved the Sea Anemones and the Jelly Fish. Such gorgeous radial symmetry, and the slow dance of their tentacles.

How beautiful are these lacy tentacles? I took this photo as a reference, because I'll have to make a dress that looks like this for one of my events. Yes, maybe a Mermaid party? Hmm, I'll have to have a good think about that one!

After Monterey we made our way to San Jose for the Pantheacon gathering. It was amazing! Thousands of people in a hotel, with workshops and rituals running all day and night. So much to choose from, and so many great presenters. With my busy performance and CD signing schedule I was only able to make it to one workshop. I chose a ritual for the Goddess Brigit - presented by the highly respected priestess of Circle Sanctuary, Selena Fox. She was absolutely charming. Very down to Earth, and a powerful magician. We celebrated the Goddesses healing and creative energies in a powerful group ritual.

My concert with Timothy was on the Saturday night, and was a huge success. Havingg never been before I  had no idea if I would draw a crowd, as there were so many other great presentations on at the same time. How thrilled I was so see every chair in the hall full, with people squeezing into the standing room. The audience gave back such warm and supportive energy, that it was easy for us all to raise a huge amount of magic . It was a powerful gig - one of my best performances I think. I'm grateful to all who helped make it happen, especially to my darling Tim. I met some wonderful people there, including  the excellent songstress Celia.  She's quite something. An incredible voice, but also an unexpectedly hilarious performer! I look forward to further connections with her. I was also very happy to meet the marvelous author and musician Lon Milo Duquette. Hes' a terrific guy and his books are great.

Like everyone who attended, we were happily exhausted after the whole experience. It was great then to have a couple of days to recover at my friend Adams' beautiful house in Santa Cruz. A hot tub on the back decking, surrounded by giant redwoods is never a bad thing. I went on a wonderful hike for a few hours in the redwood forest. It was cold but lovely, with a sparkling creek leading the way.

In Santa Cruz we played a gig at a terrific Witchcraft store called Serpent's Kiss. Unfortunately my friend Sharon Knight, who was meant to be sharing the bill with me, was very sick and couldn't perform, poor thing. Next time, though, we'll make it happen.

We had some interesting magic happen over the next couple of days that really reminded me that the Universe is on side, and is looking out for me. In Santa Cruz we returned to the car to find a flat tire. Seconds later a AAA guy pulled up and coincidently parked in front of our car to make a phone call. When I asked him if he could point the way to the nearest service station for air, he asked if I was a AAA member. I explained that I was the Australian equivalent ( the RACV) and the great news is that he told me my card was recognised by AAA, then in a very efficient and friendly manner, changed the tire for us. That information that I was more or less a AAA member came in very handy the following night. Our old brown pick up truck had been doing very well for the past few thousand miles, so were extremely surprised when, at 3am the following night in  San Francisco, it wouldnt' start. It was a freezing cold night,. and we had to be at the airport at 4am for a 6am flight to Florida. Hmm. Worrying. Luckily I knew that AAA would now come to our aid. Phew! It ended up being the starter motor, so it was a strangely surreal experience finding Tim and I pushing the truck down the hill while the AAA guy roll started it. Yeah, and of course we had to push start it again at the airport carpark when we returned from florida a few days later. Ridiculous.

Florida was fun.  We'd gone over to play a new festival called Ostara Fest, which was small but sweet. It was great to see my friend Kelliana, who was also performing. ( She and I have plans for a Massachusetts concert in the summertime). And it's always fun catching up with the women from Hecate's Wheel.  We stayed a few days with our friends Mike and Jenn. Mike is a gourmet chef and he and Jenn really look after us. Very decadent and lavish banqueting for days on end. Mike actually has a blog himself that you may like to check out. Here's a link: What's Cookin with Dr Mike.

We were tired and grumpy when we arrived back in San Francisco, after a 5am start and a full day of flying. Having to push start the car didn't exactly help either. We were heading a few hours north up highway 101, to perform a fundraising concert for a remarkable Pagan Sanctuary called Annwfn in Sonoma county. It's quite remote, and we met our friends Shadow and Orin at the base of the mountain, who then ferried us up in a 4WD. We explained to them about our exhaustion and grumpiness and car trouble. What a relief when Shadow said " That's no trouble. I'm training to be a mechanic and can put a starter motor in for you tomorrow". And indeed she did!! Hooray for Shadow! Another example of the Universe looking after us.

Annwfn is a truly beautiful property. Deep green mossy forest, amazing views over the edge of mountains, clear running streams and little waterfalls. And fantastic little black and red salamanders everywhere. Have a look at the amazing temple that Tim and I got to stay in:

There was no electricity. Just candles and a wood burning stove. Our concert was in a little hut called the Goat House ( as the goats shelter underneath it). It was small and charming. The wonderful Wizard and artist Oberon Zell came along, as he is closely involved with Annwfn. He's a great guy, and has offered to host a concert at his property near Santa Rosa when I return in the summertime. We've scheduled June 5th for that.
 Here's some photos that I took on one of my many walks around the property the following day. I love the one of the spider web - the circles and cycles of Mother Nature.

After Annwfn we drove East on Highway 20, through beautiful Californian country side, and right across the Sierra Nevada range, to reach Reno in the evening. The drive was spectacular.  Id' never experienced a snowy pine forest before and it transported me to the faery tale land of the Snow Queen.

On our arrival in Reno, the  Universe once again reminded me that all is well. Not only were we upgraded to a very lush suite at the Peppermill hotel ( thanks to our friend Jeanne), but we also won $150 on a random $1 bet on a slot machine! Whoo Hoo! First time I've ever done anything like that. We went shopping and I blew my half of the winnings on shiny eyeshadow and a very tasteful fake fur skunk hat.

So, all up the last few weeks has taught me to chill out and trust in the great and abundant flow of Nature. After last year's challenges I really did need a reminder that all is well.

I'll be back in Australia in a week, and will write again then.

love Wendy