It’s Getting Witchy Around Here (aka Finding Your Chatter-Free Self)

Monday, May 18th, 2020

So. The way I’m counting, May 4 was the beginning of Week 9 of this COVID-19 no-longer-just-a-moment time. I’ve been getting full on witchy[1] around here.

When I tire of the chatter around me and the even worse chatter in my head, I find ways to make magic.

It started, more or less, a month ago when I couldn’t take the chatter in my head any longer and dyed my hair blue, fulfilling a dormant desire and connecting me back to high school in the early 80s, when a friend’s sister who died just 2 weeks ago elevated our small universe when she showed up one day with shocks of electric blue in her hair.

Chatter, chatter. I wanted THAT.

The witchy times continued through this weekend, when a small god came biking down a path near me in the park, blasting African pop music[2], balancing a soccer ball on his head. The small god wore dark glasses that said “20 20” on them and a bright red tank. Every few minutes, he dismounted from his bike and danced to whomever and however, the ball still balancing on his head. I took it as a sign to step it up and get over my cranky, nasty funk.[3]

Chatter, chatter. I wanted THAT.

So, this morning I popped out of bed, fed our kitties and headed to the park again. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do, but I had a sense I needed to be out in nature, in sunshine, first thing in the morning. I was feeling jealous of my son who had taken to going to some secret favorite tree of his and dancing by himself.

Chatter, again. I wanted some of THAT. Again!

I biked to my favorite spot in the park. Long before this COVID-19 no-longer-just-a-moment time, “my” spot was already starting to get more peopled than I really liked, but I’m loyal or homing pigeon-like, or something. I always go back to my same spot.

I was determined to cut through the chatter.

I kicked off my shoes, plopped down in the the dew-kissed grass and meditated for a bit. I then stuffed earbuds in my sockets, stashed my phone in my fanny pack, pressed “shuffle” on my “Alissa’s good stuff” playlist[4], and that’s when the magic started to happen.

When was the last time I had really listened to music?
It poured straight into my body, a flowing, golden elixir.

I got into high gear, communing with myself and my spot with I-could-give-a-f**k-what-I-look-like abandon. I danced it out, sweated it out, sang it out[5]. I stretched, flexed, rond de jambed, rolled, jumped, shaked, skipped, and breathed. With the trees. With the sky. With the sun. With the earth.

And with the words. Oh the wise words of our cultural wisdom and joy givers! You already know, I’m sure, what it’s like to find meaning in tunes, any tune. The words melded with the clouds, air, light, and new little leaves unfolding from the branches. Lovesongs, yearning songs, heart songs to the universe.

What you think, what you feel now, what you know to be real

Ch-ch-ch changes,
turn and face the strange

Nobody told us,
cause nobody showed us,
and now it’s up to us, babe,
whoa, I think we can make it

We may still have time,
we might still get by

And each time I tell myself that,
well I think I’ve had enough,
but I’m gonna show you, baby,
that a woman can be tough

I am tired,
I am weary ,
I could sleep for a thousand years

I’d kinda like to be the president,
so I could show you how your money’s spent

I’ve overcome the blow,
I’ve learned to take it well,
I only wish my words could just convince myself
that it just wasn’t real

I’ll wait in this place,
where the sun never shines

Forever and ever,
you’ll stay in my heart
and I will love you

Can’t you see the sunshine?
Can’t you just feel the moonshine?
[6]

And when I had sweated it all out and felt done, I looked at the trees again, and this came to me:

The trees move
way more than we do.
Only our hair waves in the wind,
but all their branches and leaves
flutter and sway
with every breath.

They may pity us
for our inability
to dance and flutter
with the present,
our somnambulant hubris
in believing that
our incessant chatter and activity
is superior.

As I biked away from my spot, I passed a man who had set up an easel and was beginning to paint. So good. Not for me. Definitely for him.

Finding your joy, your calm, your communing, chatter-free place isn’t about meeting anyone else’s expectations. It’s about finding what pleasures you, what calms and centers you, what helps you keep going and feel connected, not just to other humans (which is very important, of course), but to the universe at large.

What is giving you pleasure and groundedness these days? What is quieting your chatter? I would love to hear from you and whatever it is that you’re doing that’s helping you vibrate at a different, non-cranky frequency. I’ll also take you as your ol’ chatter-full self, too!

[1] Apologies to the folks who practice Wicca or other forms of witchcraft for what might be appropriation of the term. I am more of an intuitive, self-taught witch than a formal one.

[2] I apologize for not being able to identify the music more specifically than as African pop music.

[3] When I was mourning the loss of my Mom, it was hard for me to distinguish between what was Winter and what was grief. Now I’m finding it similarly difficult to tell the difference between the usual need to release pent up energy as I behold Spring working its glorious magic and the feeling of wanting to jump out of my skin during this sheltering-in time.

[4] This playlist has quite a lot of overlap with the playlist I shared in my 50th birthday newsletter.

[5] Earbuds, being like bathwater, allow me to NOT hear myself and give me the confidence to belt it out even when I don’t know the words or tune very well! I mean, maybe YOU can hear me sing, but I can’t hear me sing!

[6] Lyrics from:
Got To Be Real, Cheryl Lynn
Changes, David Bowie
Don’t go Breaking My Heart, Elton John & Kiki Dee
Crazy on You, Heart
Piece of My Heart, Big Brother & The Holding Company
Venus in Furs, The Velvet Underground
Why Can’t We Be Friends, War
Operator, Jim Croce
White Room, Cream
I Say a Little Prayer, Aretha Franklin
Carolina in My Mind, James Taylor


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