Intense, Dude

Written By: Charles - Nov• 20•21

Samain and the Holiseason Moon

Saturday gratefuls: Cincinnati Chili. Cooking. Learning how to again, on induction. Mini-splits at work. Experimental month with the hot water heat all off. Kate. Missing her sweetness. Holiseason well underway. Exercise finally back all the way. Core exercises. Diaphragmatic breathing. Kabbalah. Tarot. The Eel. Alan.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Seeing Jon, Ruth, Gabe today

Tarot: The Knight of Vessels, the Eel.  Wildwood Tarot


Parkside in Evergreen for breakfast with Alan yesterday. Took my new Roger with me. Had Alan clip it to his clothing. At least if I forgot Roger he would go home with somebody I know. Alan’s having cataract surgery in December. He drove me to mine last October. Seeing a friend in person, two actually, since Rebecca Martin was there, too, is so important.

I told Alan about my Hermit neon sign that is underway. We got a good laugh out of the Master Benders. He wanted to know why. Because I see myself a hermit now, I said. We can fix that, he said. No, thanks, but I appreciate the thought. Maybe I should have gone with the Fool. The beginner’s mind. Setting off on the journeymen’s pilgrimage. Each morning. Maybe that will be one for the loft next year.

Honey baked ham. Drove over to their shop in Littleton, near Tony’s. Lots of hams in the coolers. Just one of hundreds of these shops. Had an instant vision of all the Pigs. A moment of sadness. Bought half-a-ham. Sealed in gold foil. Sitting in the frig.

Put in a pick-up order with Safeway. All the ingredients for chili. Now including chili powder for the first time in three years. I love Cincinnati chili. Chili on spaghetti with sour cream, shredded cheddar, and sliced green onions. And, of course, oyster crackers.

Bought some fancy spaghetti at Tony’s for the chili. Also some salted caramel tiny beignets for dessert.

Back home for a nap. Then, workout. I have, at last, gotten back to my old intensity. Been going at reduced speed and intensity since late June when I pounded my IT band into high tension on the sidewalks of Hickam Air Force Base.

Probably a bit more than the old intensity. Two HIIT sessions with lower body resistance and core. Two cardio sessions with upper body and core. Over 5 hours a week now and I can tell the difference. My stamina’s better as is my breathing.

Here’s the conundrum though. I know I need this level of exercise to keep myself healthy, or as healthy as I can be. But that means it has to be routine.

I plan to reduce my week total to four days since I can get all the exercise I need in that time. I’ve had trouble when going for five days a week since I’ve kept the weekends exercise free. With exercise five days a week and writing Ancientrails I use up my mornings.

After I workout, I go downstairs, eat lunch, have a nap. Often I don’t feel like doing anything after the nap. Easy, you might say, stop napping. Yeah. Except. Started napping in 1989. Continuous then to now. That’s what, 32 years? Pretty much a habit.

That’s why four days. The HIIT makes getting my exercise quotient in quick. Wednesdays I plan as my off days. Then, I’ll be able to get phone calls, errands run on Wednesday, necessary work for the admin side of life. When I use up my mornings, and feel done in the afternoons it is not so easy to handle that stuff.

Brother Mark asked in an e-mail this morning if I’d gotten back to my Latin. No. I haven’t. But I appreciated the nudge. I want to get back to Ovid, to Latin, to the writing that flows from it. Painting, too. Slowly, slowly. Taking life at a pace that works. Wu wei.

Well. Just drove over to Evergreen, to CBE. Was going to attend a Torah study session with Rabbi Jamie. I love studying scripture. It’s fun. And, sometimes insightful. However. I need to learn close reading. Of the invitation to the Word and Deed time. Which clearly said, when I brought it up on my phone in the empty CBE parking lot: Zoom only. Sigh.

Back in the car. Over to Safeway to get chili makings. Pickup. Back home now. A day of work inside the house. Moving this and that. Starting to clear out the kitchen for the remodel. Making chex mix, chili.


The Knight of Vessels: The Eel


Promoting harmony. Welcoming. Coming Together.

Perhaps a key part of the Hermitage will be welcoming, coming together, even hosting. My idea of cooking family dinners at 5 pm every Saturday, y’all come, feels good. Today will be the first and already Ruth wants to come early to make cookies. Yes!

The eel, according to Caitlin Matthews, see below* for more information, is a protector. One who could, in Celtic myth, be transformed into a sword.

As a protective animal in the suit of the emotions, vessels, and living in the water way, the knight of vessels is welcome in my home as family comes. Help us realize love and unity as we gather, eat.




*Eels have the most mysterious life cycle and make the longest journey of any of the court card beasts. Spawned in the Sargasso Sea near the Bahamas, the young, transparent elvers make their way across the North Atlantic to European river-mouths. Making their way between water-courses, they often wriggle overland to find another waterway. When they are mature as silver eels, they return to the Sargasso Sea to spawn.  The birch tree was one of the first native British trees to emerge from the ice after glaciation.

Caitlin Matthews, Wildwood Blog





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