Saturday, December 28, 2019

Runes and Ruin

Sunset, Pacific Ocean
December 2019

Vikings had only an oral culture. Eventually they used runes, which were a sort of alphabet.
Here are some common ones that I lifted off the World Wide Web:

 Name:Hagalaz, “hail.” Phoneme: H. Meaning: destruction, chaos.
 Name: Naudhiz, “need.” Phoneme: N. Meaning: need, unfulfilled desire.
 Name: Uruz, “aurochs.” Phoneme: U (long and/or short). Meaning: strength of will.
 Name: Thurisaz, “Giant.” Phoneme: Th (both soft and hard). Meaning: danger, suffering.
 Name: Ansuz, “an Aesir god.” Phoneme: A (long and/or short). Meaning: prosperity, vitality.

All the free men in Viking World would gather together to make laws and settle disputes without resorting to blood and violence. They called this meeting The Thing. Ever since I read Sigrid Undset's books in my early twenties, I've been fascinated by that name. The Thing.

I'm going to call what's happening between my ex and me The Thing from now on. So when I disappear from this space you'll know it's The Thing, and that there's been no blood and violence.


I went out on the wine dark sea yesterday with Carl. We saw one gray whale, about fifty dolphins and some sea birds. It was really cold and really beautiful. The sunset was incredible. The photo I put up there is blurry, but there's no filter on it, and don't you think that oil tanker could be a Viking ship? You see where I'm going, right?

I didn't walk around the boat much because earlier I had wrenched my foot while cleaning up my porch. I was wearing clogs and stepped on an uneven spot and stepped off the clog. The clog, rather, bruised the side of my foot. I have a bum knee as well on my left leg, so now I have a bum knee and a bum foot, and I'm walking weird. I feel heavy but not rooted. On the boat, though, I sat and swayed and rode the waves like a whale myself.

Reader, what are you doing?


  1. I am admiring that photo for one thing.
    Thinking about you for another. Wishing The Thing could disappear and along with it, all of your pain.

  2. Helloooooo! I went to the bait&tackle for cough drops and the only flavor they had was Smith Brothers Warm Apple Pie. I’m not making this up. It was enough to make me gag. I’m about to attempt another trip to The Outside though. Also I dismantled Christmas today and even vacuumed up the evidence.

  3. Ah, The Thing--may it be dispatched quickly and bloodlessly, but (having lived/living my own Thing) may it hurt as little as possible and may you emerge on the other side whole.

    I'm three days in to my Christmas "vacation" and have crotchet three awful hats and am gearing up to head back east in a day and a half to pick up my boy.

  4. As soon as you mentioned The Thing, my mind went to Kristin Lavransdater and The Master of Hestviken. I am not on a boat.

  5. The boat sounds lovely, The Thing, not so much. I guess there's a reason they're ex husbands.

    Sending hugs and love.

  6. Here's hoping The Thing becomes the thing in the coming year.

  7. The Vikings treated women like slaves. And called themselves "free men".
    What else.
    You deserve better.

  8. Thank Goddess you have Carl and boat trips and beautiful sunsets.

    I'm hibernating and trying not to fall on ice. Living in snow is...interesting.

  9. I'm missing certain fabulous SoCal writers---seeing them in person. And I miss the whales. Sorry about the clog accident. And the fucking THING.

  10. The Thing is a good description of anything difficult we're going thru that disrupts Life. I'm glad you have Carl, the Sea and the Sunsets.

  11. I am thinking I definitely do not like " the Thing" thing. Beautiful pic. Glad Carl is in your life. Sending love��

  12. "The Thing" sounds like a good name. I hope it soon becomes a Thing of the past. And how wonderful that you can escape to the wine-dark sea and sway with the rhythm of the waves.

  13. I'm reading "The Overstory" by Richard Powers. It is one fine piece of writing. Please enjoy. And happy new year.

  14. While you were riding the wine dark waves, I was sitting on a verandah looking out a palm trees and wondering why I had ever left the land of my birth. i was away for one week and the orange man in the white house let loose the dogs of war.



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