I was reading over at about Eva Gabrielsson’s new memoir and I came to this part of the article:

In one particularly incredible scene, Gabrielsson exorcises her grief and fury by performing a pagan ritual, complete with a torch and a goat’s head on a spike, in which she recites a poem to the Norse gods, cursing all those who crossed Larsson in life and in death. In another, she speaks to a crow she believes has been sent to her by the god Odin and which she thinks may be an embodiment of Larsson himself.

Holy shit! She set up a nithing pole against her enemies. I’m not opposed to animal sacrifices, I must admit, but I’ve never wanted anything bad enough that I couldn’t get through other means to consider it. But I respect the anger that would bring someone to this point.

It’s funny. One of the things that I still carry around with me from Christianity is the twin folk-beliefs that God will take care of things in His own time and that He’s not a vending machine. You don’t just pop in a request and get out the thing you need. Those aren’t necessarily justified by theology, but those are folk-beliefs I was brought up with.

And that’s not at all how the Old Friends work, at least in my experience.

The Butcher has needed something for a very long time and his not having it has been very rough on both of us. But I have tried to stay out of it, since it’s his situation to resolve. Last week, though, he was particularly down about it and so I talked to my Friends and Loved Ones about it. And he got a lead. So, last night, I left whiskey in the kitchen for the Old Man, and today, more promising news. We should know more tomorrow.

So, my fingers are crossed.

But I guess the thing I’ve been thinking about is how I’ve come to almost take this back-and-forth for granted when things are going well. Sure, when things are going well, I feel like Folks are around and that I’m tapped into something ancient and comforting. But when things are tough, I pull back. I decide not to bother Them; They aren’t vending machines. And that’s stupid. You tell your friends your troubles. If they can ease them, they do.

If you reach out, of course, someone who cares is reaching back.

Garden Thoughts

Did I tell y’all that I’m doing a hay bale garden this year? We’ll see, but I’m hoping it keeps the plants close enough to the house to dissuade nibblers and enough off the ground to counteract any spring flooding. Nothing fancy, I don’t think. Tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, beans, maybe cucumbers, and some basil. I’m not really feeling a garden this year, but I’ll be sad if I don’t do one. My walk around the yard yesterday confirmed that every bed is a terrible mess. If the weather holds, I’ve got to get into the bed on the southeast side of the house so that the bluebells of various sorts can get up without having to fight privet, grass, and holly.

And I’m contemplating ripping out the herb garden and doing a butterfly bush under the window, surrounded by coneflowers, which have never gotten enough sun in the back bed to really make a go of it, and then lavender up front, leaving the sage and the rosemary alone, assuming the rosemary bounces back. It’d be all shades of blues and purples, but I think that’d be nice.

My dad wants to pull out the two spindly roses of Sharon by the shed and put in another willow to help with water.

And we’ve got some plans to put a couple of apples out where we had the garden the first year.

I just have to work up the gumption to get started.

Is It Too Late to Change Their Name to “Lady A”?

It’s interesting to watch the slowly spreading realization in the blogosphere that there is a popular country music group called “Lady Antebellum.” Last night, during the Grammys, on Twitter people were suggesting future album titles for the group–“Jim Crow,” “Minstrel Show,” and then, once the shock wore off, actually funny ones.

Over at Feministe, I said that I thought that, of course someone knew this name was bound to rankle. If not in the group, then at their label. But, I think, they just figured that the people who would be shocked when they heard the name, say, at the Grammys, were not the likely audience for the music, so who gives a shit? If people are uncomfortable, they can just hide under the whole “We had no idea people would think it was inappropriate” excuse.

Tami has a great post about why she finds the name of the group problematic, which I encourage you to read. But I also want to point out that there are some interesting things in the comments, not from people for whom this is the first time they’ve heard of Lady Antebellum, but from people who knew about the group but avoided listening to them or buying their album because they found the name off-putting.

This is something I’m going to have my eye on–as country music has pushed and pushed for more wider acceptance and a broader audience, there have always been accusations that the form itself has been watered down in order to appeal to more people. And, sure, in some regards, I think that’s safe to say. And Lady Antebellum’s sound is surely designed to appeal to a wide spectrum of listeners, to, in fact, cross over some.

And yet, here we are, hearing from that cross-over audience that, even if they like “Need You Now,” they find it embarrassing to own music from a group called “Lady Antebellum.”

It’s going to be interesting to watch how the industry reacts to that knowledge. Lady Antebellum isn’t Trace Adkins. They don’t have a reputation for being ornery sons-of-bitches with Confederate sympathies. They’re not Junior, who, while having it made, still sang about how, if the South would have won, he’d of had it made, some more, somehow. They’re not looking for a limited but voracious fanbase. They want people everywhere to listen to them. Their label wants people everywhere to listen to them.

So… yeah… the recoil from them. That’s going to be interesting to watch.