First Blog

Hi everyone. My name is Nick and this is my first blog on There’s not really anything that I have to say right now, but if you wanna start a conversation than drop me a line. There is one thing though: I have a poem that I’m posting below. If you like it let me know, if you don’t then some constructive criticism would be appreciated. thanks.

Natures Kiss

Here again at this beautiful place, I sit Here staring into natures face.
Some leaves have already turned and fallen from an elder tree.
Many shades of gold, orange, and light browns form a very peaceful looking dance floor around this spot.
The sun toasts the back of my neck lightly.
As I sit Here a breeze comes to cool me now and again.

Looking to the sky, one can see to the top of the elder tree.
The turned leaves continue to fall slowly, but not to worry about this friendly tree being naked. It’s not shy.

People walk by, and don’t realize what they miss. Two pretty girls on the other side of the tree, among its beauty and grace. They don’t know that it’s moments like this that could be called natures kiss.

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Samhain 2007 Approaches

Jack-O-Lantern: This is a Jack-O-Lantern that I found floating around on the Internet. Pretty cool, eh?Harvest time has been a busy time as usual this year. In fact, the prolonged spell of hot weather seemed to add a certain feverish quality to the usual buzz of activity that always comes during the harvest season. Now that the cold rains of fall are finally upon us, though, I feel inspired to write a blog entry about Samhain.

What is Samhain? If you’re unfamiliar with the holiday, I’m tempted to just direct you to an article on the subject. Instead, though, I’ll offer a brief description in my own words.

Samhain, which is most commonly observed on October 31, is an old Celtic holiday marking the end of summer. As the sun spends less time in the sky each day, the winds grow sharper, the cold rain falls, the leaves start dying, the final harvest is taken in, and many of the flora and fauna of summer undergo some form of hibernation or metamorphosis to prepare for the hard, dark winter. Therefore, on a spiritual level, this becomes a time to consider the themes of harvest, change, challenge, and death.

Samhain is a Pagan holiday, but the themes of the season are recognized in many other beliefs and practices. Halloween, All Saints Day, and Día de los Muertos are just a few examples of related holidays that honor beloved ancestors and relatives at this time of year.

What does Samhain mean to me? It means many things, all of which are hard to put into words. I feel Samhain in the coming of the October rains… cold, sharp rains that wash away the leaves of summer and leave the landscape in the crystal clarity of winter. I feel Samhain in the return of the ancestors… on my home altar, in my thoughts, in the themes of my life, and in the landscape of my dreams. I feel Samhain in the magic in the air… an almost electric sense that the veil is thin, that unknown mischief is afoot, that anything is possible as the old year dies and the new year waits in the womb of winter.

My Coven is having a private Samhain gathering this weekend. It’s going to be much smaller than we originally anticipated since most of our out-of-town guests were unable to make it this year. Even so, it will be a good opportunity for all of us who do make it to meet up with each other, share stories of what the year has brought us, and prepare together for the coming of winter.

I’ll have more to say about Samhain as the day approaches. In the meantime, the cold rains of the past few days were enough to leave me eager to say at least a little something about one of the most important days in my year. Samhain is in the air — and even though it’s often a challenging time of year, it’s also a time of powerful magic that I welcome with open arms.

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For a long time now, I’ve been in a rut. I wouldn’t call it depression, though it’s certainly had depressive aspects at times. Instead, I would say that it’s been more of a sabbatical. I was tired, broke, and disillusioned, so I took a big step back from my grandiose revolutionary schemes in order to recuperate, regenerate, and reflect upon my life and my world.

In many ways, this was a good thing. It gave me the time to develop closer relationships with my friends; it gave me new perspective on my goals and challenges; it lead me on a variety of quirky adventures and side quests that I would have never had the pleasure of exploring if I hadn’t given myself some breathing room.

But eventually, rest became inertia; stability became entropy; doubt became defeatism. Without even realizing it, I started to accept the problems in my life, my community, and my world as inescapable givens. The people I know and love will always be poor and disempowered; the community I live in will always be conformist and apathetic; the nation I live in will never rise to the challenge of changing economic and political systems that are causing so much social and ecological havoc. This may be unfortunate, but this is the way of things, and all that I can do is ensure that my personal contribution is positive (or at least neutral).

This attitude went on for a while, just under the surface, undercutting my otherwise positive attitude with a pernicious pessimism. Eventually, though, I remembered something.

I remembered that I have the power to create change in my life, my community, and my world.

Really, this idea was nothing new to me. I’ve believed it for a long time now, and I doubt I’ll ever fully lose sight of it. But sometimes, I get distracted by my circumstances and temporarily forget that each of us, in our own way, has the power to create change.

I first started noticing the positive shift in my attitude when I was sick at work the other day. I suffered through about two weeks of flu only to emerge with a persistent cough that was probably due to allergies aggravated by dairy consumption. Whatever the cause of this cough was, the effects on my psyche were at least as bad as the effects on my body. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I wanted the coughing to end NOW.

Then, I had a moment of clarity. I realized that I had the power to improve my health, my mood, and my circumstances. I started singing a few spiritual songs to myself as I worked, and my cough diminished significantly. Later, I bought some herbal tea that helped keep the symptoms in check at times when I couldn’t rest or sing in order to stop the coughing. My energy picked up a bit, and I started getting back into some of my old projects, including the Forbidden Philosophies series. Over the course of a week or two, I found myself shifting from a sense of deep disempowerment to a sense of deep empowerment.

Sure, change isn’t always simple or easy. But change is possible — and through a combination of clear vision and focused intention, we can make it happen.

Now that I’ve noticed what a rut I’ve been in, I’ve started looking at my life with new eyes. Harvest time is upon us, and it’s time for me to harvest the blessed new fruits that have been growing in my life and cull the dead weight that no longer serves me.

Samhain is always a challenging time of year for me, but also a very rewarding one. It’s hard letting go of old patterns, old possessions, old circumstances, and old relationships that no longer serve me. But I’ve harvested so much in the past year that I’m sure it will be enough to carry me through this time of transformation and purging. New friends, new experiences, new ideas, renewed inspiration… Samhain always has its sting, of course, but I have high hopes that this year, that sting will be accompanied by a sense that I’ve harvested enough to carry me through the long, dark, and cold winter ahead.

With that said, I think I’ll be going. I’m in the midst of a major purging of possessions, and I’d better get back to it. I’ve allowed a fair amount of clutter to accumulate around me during this rut, and especially this more recent period of illness. Now, with Samhain approaching, I feel a need to wander among my possessions with a scythe, hacking and slashing at old papers and trinkets until only the most meaningful among them are left standing.

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Tribute to My Fairy King

Freddie Mercury: This is a photo of "My Fairy King," Freddie Mercury, walking around in full regalia. My only regret is that I never got to see him perform live...This may seem completely random… but I’ve decided today to dedicate an entire blog entry to Freddie Mercury. Maybe it’s a belated birthday present to him… but whatever the reason, I figure now is as good of a time as any to share my thoughts on this epic bard whose legend lives on today.

My first clear memory of Freddie Mercury comes through the song “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I’m not sure whether I was first enthralled by it before or after seeing Wayne’s World, but either way, it was one of the first songs that I gravitated to.

For me, Queen became a quest. The first audio tape I remember owning was a Queen “single” that I think I literally played until it wore out. I’m not sure which songs were on it, but I think it may have been Bohemian Rhapsody and The Show Must Go On. Luckily, that tape lasted me through to the first CD I remember, which was also Queen — specifically, the Queen’s Greatest Hits album with the red cover, which was essentially the same as the first disc of the main 3-disc Greatest Hits set.

It’s hard to put into words what that CD meant to me. At the time, I couldn’t explain it at all except to say that I liked it. But in retrospect, I can definitely say that it helped me through a prolonged period of extreme depression.

As the dawn of adolescence brought on raging hormones and expanding self-awareness, I found myself feeling extremely anxious, depressed, and trapped by my banal suburban circumstances. My family was good to me, and this was actually a point where my family life was becoming more stable than it had been in the past. But this was also the precise age where I really started looking beyond my family for a social life — and somehow, the petty tyranny of suburban junior high and high school seemed like a soulless wasteland where I could never be free.

If you had asked me, I wouldn’t even have been able to put into words what it was exactly that was being denied me. But I knew that there was more to life than this, and I felt a tremendous urge to discover that life, whatever it may be.

Enter Freddy Mercury.

Now of course, I don’t want to diminish the contributions of the other members of Queen when I talk about Freddie Mercury. They all had songs that I like, and none of the songs would have been the same without the full set of artists. And yet, there was always something that made Freddie stand apart. He had a certain manic energy, a certain irresistible charm, a certain powerful magic…

My life was so boring in those days that I couldn’t even imagine what it must be like to cut loose from all of my social inhibitions and have a real party. It would be years before I could even recognize and throw off the chains that were holding me back from experiencing the full power of human emotion. But when I listened to that music, and that voice soaring and diving through the heights and depths of human passion and ecstasy, I could feel something stirring in my heart that I’d never felt before.

It was a taste of pure freedom! Yes, the joy was often mingled with pain and sorrow, but the sheer power of the unchained human heart was what always shined through most brightly for me. It was the music of a heart longing to break free… a heart falling in love… a heart that would not rest until its epic passion for the beauty and magic of life had been fulfilled, bringing the power of eternity into the presence of a single moment.

So much rock music carries some of these same themes… but when they were at their finest, Freddie Mercury and Queen breathed an incredible life and love and beauty into the drama. People who know me should know that I believe in magic as a real spiritual force… and I believe that Freddie Mercury came to us with a magic powerful enough to open people’s minds and set our hearts free.

In other words, he rocked our world.

Of course, there was a great deal of controversy among some people over the fact that he never officially acknowledged his bisexuality to the public, and that he didn’t acknowledge his HIV diagnosis publicly until the day before he died. But really, I think that both criticisms are rather petty, though certainly well-intentioned.

Sure, it would have been very helpful if Freddie Mercury had joined some political campaign to speak up on behalf of the GLBTQ movement. But really, I think that his music spoke for itself. It was music of liberation… and even though he didn’t officially contribute to the queer liberation movement, he helped make those of us who were feeling trapped by our sexually repressed society feel more free. He was also the first role model I ever had who was bisexual, which lead me to learn more about bisexuality and ultimately myself.

It would have also been very helpful if Freddie Mercury had held some sort of AIDS benefit concert while he was still with us. I’m sure it would have raised awareness tremendously and raised a good chunk of change for the cause, too. But really, he was ultimately able to accomplish in death what his desire for privacy did not allow him to accomplish in life. He was the first role model I ever had who died of AIDS, and his death and subsequent tribute concert probably raised even more awareness than anything he could have done in life.

So, both in life and in death, Freddie Mercury had a lasting influence on my life, and on the lives of millions of others who still celebrate his music today. Whether you’re a die-hard Queen fan or someone who barely knows anything about them, I encourage you to take the time to listen to a few songs, check out a few of the music videos, and let yourself be inspired by the beauty and power of this epic bard’s talent. He will always be with us in spirit…

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My name is Treesong. I'm a father, author, talk radio host, and Real Life Superhero. I live in Carbondale, Southern Illinois. I write novels, short stories, and poetry, mostly about the climate.

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