Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit. October. Forty years ago this month, a high school senior disappeared on her way home from the college library in a bucolic New England town. They found her body towards the end of the month a few towns over. It is still listed as an unsolved murder.
I had skipped my senior year and was a freshman in college in Ohio and only learned about what was going on through letters from my mother and read about the funeral in newspaper clippings she had sent. I never got to say good bye in a proper way and October has become for me a month of incomplete endings and tenuous new beginnings.
October became the month in which I changed jobs, prepared for my second marriage, saw the birth of my youngest daughter. It is the month that the Federal Fiscal year starts. In some years, like this year, it is the month when Rosh Hashanah falls.
I think about Rocky’s death, soon after Rosh Hashanah back in 1976 and I think about a friend who will be celebrating Rosh Hashanah for the first time as a woman this year. What name is written in the book of life? On Facebook, I have written, “May the name Danielle be written in the book of life.” It is important to put things this way, because Danielle’s parents will not use the name she has chosen to represent her full self, including her gender identity. Instead, they cling to the name they gave her when she was born, a boy’s name.
So, here we are, October 2016. What will I find this month, forty years after Rocky’s death? September has been a very busy month for me and I’ve written much less than I would have liked. I’ve dealt with illness in the family. I’ve dealt with a very busy period at work. I’ve dealt with my spiritual journey. I’ve dealt with running for office again.
This October is likely to bring big events in my spiritual journey, a couple opportunities to read my poetry and deliver stump speeches. It will bring opportunities for reflection, about Rocky and about my mother, both of whom died this month.
When the rain passes, the air will be crisp, with an autumn clarity that reveals so much. What will be revealed this month?
Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit, the full corn rabbit. In the Episcopal church, it is the feast day of David Pendleton Oakerhater, a Cheyenne Native American who became an artist and Episcopal Deacon. I read his description in Wikipedia and stop to think about forced assimilation and cultural genocide. I ponder how can we best listen to and honor various ideas from other cultures without practicing harmful cultural appropriation.
At starting point, for me, seems to be recognizing and naming where ideas come from, and learning as much as possible about them. Today, I started off with “Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit”, like I do on the first of many months, thinking back to the old childhood idea of saying that phrase at the beginning of the month to bring good luck. Each month, I try to find some way to tie it into some of my current thoughts, and perhaps because I had been reading about Oakerhater my mind went to the Native American names for the full moons of each month. I combined that to come up with the Full Corn Rabbit.
The Full Corn Moon, sometimes called the Barley Moon is a Harvest Moon. It makes me think of Neil Young’s Harvest Moon.
Yet the Harvest Moon is still a couple weeks away. Today, it is rainy, and there will be a new moon tonight.
This weekend, we will celebrate Kim’s big birthday, assuming that everyone is well enough to celebrate. Fiona has been having another cycle sickness.
Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit, Raclette. A new month starts. The last one didn’t see as much writing as I would have liked and this month doesn’t look that much more promising. It is Swiss National Day. I remember working for a Swiss bank where they would serve raclette every year on the first of August. The pungent smell of ripe melted cheese would fill the building. I like strong cheeses, but raclette was always a bit much for me.
It is also the Feast of Joseph of Arimathaea and I read lessons about tombs. I read the news, and try to focus. There are a lot of things going on for August and a lot on my mind. Again, I hope to find time to write more later.
Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit. June comes to a close and we start July. June was not an easy month. I fought a summer cold and have been pretty lower energy. I did not post as much as I would have liked, but still managed to get 21 posts up for the month. I’m still ahead of a blog post a day, but just barely.
I did manage to swim over six miles during the month of June, in spite of sickness and fatigue.
I’ve been listening to a Librivox recording of Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism during my commute. I’m over half way through it. I’m sure it is feeding into my thinking and poetry.
Last weekend as Poetry Sunday at St. Mark’s in New Canaan where I read one poem during the service and another during a poetry reading afterwards. The poems seem to have been well received.
We’ll see what July brings.
Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit.
A new month starts,
with the leaves
as the seedlings grow larger.
Each new year,
each new month,
each new day
is a chance
to turn over a new leaf,
as the old leaves pile up
on our yards.
We rake these new leaves
into giant piles
and leap into them
as last gasps
before the winter comes.