Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Story of Loss and Comfort

Today is Halloween, which for most people is a time to dress up, visit or be visited by the neighbors, and share tricks and treats. An odd consequence to this holiday is that this is one of the few times when you actually meet your neighbors!

There is also another side to Halloween or Samhain as the modern Neo-Pagans refer to it: this is a day when you take a moment to remember loved ones that have passed on,  either in the past year or longer.

When I lost my Dad back in the summer of 2007, it was unbelievably difficult to deal with, but it's something that we all need to face at some point: the loss of a parent. His death kickstarted something I called the Year of the Firsts: the first Christmas without Dad, the first New Year without Dad, Dad's first birthday without him, my first birthday without Dad, etc. The good news is that as the year progresses, it gets easier to accept the idea that he has passed on. Of course, I still miss my Dad and there are  days when I tear up at his memory (like right now, for instance).

After my Year of the Firsts, I told this story at festival and it felt right. Whenever I hear of a friend who has lost someone, I've been wanting to share this story because it brought me a great deal of comfort with  my own sense of loss. I wanted to wait until I had a live version of this telling, but I had to settle for a studio recording instead. I'm hoping to have some music composed to add to it soon.

On this Halloween, I wish you pleasant memories of your lost loved ones and remind you that you do not grieve alone.

The Hunter's Son (4:45) told by JD Hickey

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October: Anti-Bullying Month

Because October is National Anti-Bullying Month, I am reposting this Raven story. In this tale, Raven not only faces down several bullies, but he learns about courage for the first time, which is what everyone needs to be able to deal with bullies.

There is a great focus in the media on bullying in the schoolyard and how it affects children. While this is very real and very true, bullying doesn't end when school is out for summer. We face bullies in our families, in our friends, at work, at play, and even within ourselves. Recently, a news piece arose where a local TV anchor had to deal with a stranger who attempted to bully her using her weight as a weapon. Here's how she dealt with that.

There are many, many Raven tales where he defends the people against one threat or another, but I like this particular story because Raven has moment where bullying fills his heart with fear for the first time. Dealing with that fear is how we must face our own bullies so that they do not control who we are or what we can accomplish.

Note: the drumming this piece is by The Dragon Ritual Drummers and is used with permission.

Copyright© 2010 John David Hickey