They Walked Before Me

Today, many across the world shall proclaim- “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” or worse say “Patty” in which technically it is known as “Paddy.” This is actually an unflattering term because once upon a time, it was used negatively towards Irish immigrants.

Except, taking pride in ones heritage does not, nor should be honored once a year. Yes, firstly I am born American; yet my blood comes from natives of Europe. Previous posts tell some of my journey, and how I discovered where I come from; better yet who I come from. My DNA is at the highest percentages for two populations that spread throughout Europe; Celtic and Viking people.

*Side note- Not only Irish and Scottish people are Celtic. Studying history, geography, migrations and folklore will teach otherwise.

A long study of mitochondrial DNA places my ancestors around 8,000 years ago in Central Europe. The subgroup that I branch from H1ap so far shows the highest matches to myself in Ireland. So I am estimating my genetic mothers were in the great old land of Eire (Ireland) for 3,000 years or more.

Is it about the land, or the people?

Yes, I am a firm believer in the concept, we are all human beings! I love the lands they lived in; however it is more about the heritage and identifying with as many of my dead ancestors that I can discover. We all come from humans that despite the odds of climate change, war, genocide, disease, famine and any other obstacle, survived. Taking a close look at human migration shows us how far some of us traveled just to ensure that the future would exist.

Why aren’t we celebrating our existence?

Is it really just about wearing green today? Getting drunk? or Plastering shamrocks and Leprechauns all over. Why is it all about one man? I don’t want to step on toes or religious views but the “snakes” St. Patrick drove out of Ireland were pagan people. People who didn’t believe as he did. I suppose a glance around our modern world we could say in current times the Muslims are being treated the same way. Why? because any different view is always seen in fear.

My one request for the world today is to look beyond the stereotypes of tradition or the norm and dig deeper. Find out who you are, discover the names of the people who brought you here. What were their struggles? What adversity did they face? Why did they have to move from country to country? I promise you the more you dig, the more you will transform. It doesn’t go without saying, you will find tragedy. You may even find at times your ancestors were oppressed by a major power. It is then you will find anger at first, and it may subside or cause hatred. Time will heal you! If getting my DNA evaluated taught me anything, it was that we are all connected in some way. Yes, even to the people who once oppressed your ancestors. That is when healing begins!

So by all means get up, celebrate today! The saying is “we’re all a little Irish.”  Just don’t forget that everyday, you are a product of the people who brought you to this destination!

 

Be blessed with peace

Josette

 

 

Wintry Decline

Blow, blow, thou winter wind Thou art not so unkind, As man’s ingratitude.
My age is as a lusty winter, frosty, but kindly.
Now is the winter of our discontent.  ~William Shakespeare
She always articulates her parting with a twinge; does she not? Here’s my expression of her departure.~ Josette ❤
20170314_122420
#BlizzardStella from my back yard South Bronx March 14, 2017
Stranded, bellowing encircling seductively, kindred essence of the malevolent; yet enchantingly, she stays
Nipped, rasping endearments embracing bitterly, kin to the seams of the quill; yet enchantingly, she plays
Partaken, gelid drops diminishing sluggishly, tastelessly, ally from the arctic abyss; yet enchantingly, she sways
*Footnotes- So what motivated me? Obviously the view 😀 and these lovely sounds-
Winter Sounds and of course quotes from Shakespeare!

Blod af mit blod

I could tell you tales,
Tales of my wanderings.

I may blab on and on about my triumphs or downfalls, perhaps how I have been very akin to a Gypsy. Except I know not where those words shall lead me.

I must run this course, 

The course I’ve planned to write and tell of my spiritual wanders to know thyself.

~Josette Hansen~

Briefly, in past posts I’ve spoken of my research. Finding ancestors was like a gold mine because growing up American had stripped me of heritage. I could be told by my mother “I’m Irish, Italian, and German.” My father could say “I’m Danish, French Canadian, Scottish, British.” Except what did it mean to be any of those things? Culture, heritage, language? Everyone would say well, “you’re American.” It still felt strange though because many of my American friends had kept some form of old country language or culture.

I had a hippy mother who loved Jesus and a Norse Pagan father who was born of a Danish immigrant. Christmas, to say the least was interesting. We had a tree every year named Olaf, and a nativity in the corner. I remember wassail and Leif Erickson day, but it was pieces and fragments I didn’t grasp.

Studies of religion brought me through so many transitions in life. I sought Jesus from the age of nine and wandered about until my twenties. I started to cling to Christianity for quite sometime, which led me to Messianic Judaism, and finally full blown orthodox Judaism. I did find great comfort in Judaism and fell in love with the traditions, language, prayers and oral history.

Not knowing yourself can be quite scary, trying to find a place where you belong. I decided to do my DNA and found 88℅ of my blood was North West European. 95℅ is European in general. The German, Danish and British Isles dominated my DNA. These findings left me wanting to connect with heritage. I was so hungry to “take my place among my ancestors” so to speak. 

I know all of those regions were Christianized (is that a word :D) but I also know for years they killed each other, Catholics vs. Protestants. I had ancestors on both sides who suffered great losses. I wanted to go beyond that before the conversion crisis as I like to call it. I found my Celtic and Germanic/Scandinavian ancestors worshipped the same gods and goddesses. The names varied by language but they were the same. These are the gods my father and sisters had come to know. I decided I wanted to know them too.

*When the struggle within myself surfaced*

I transitioned so much through religions and cultures, it was as if I hated myself. I ran from the Hansen surname. I remember getting married and double checking that I marked the box to give up my maiden name. Once we separated, I took on various pennames even using my mother’s German maiden name Schramm. There was honor behind my reasoning for using mother’s name but it’s another tale.

How many times would I allow myself to submit to what I thought everyone wanted me to be? How many relationships were built upon hiding behind someone else? It was the worst case of crisis identity. I believe my anger that I held onto against my father was the reason. I kept blaming everyone else instead of realizing, I had captured myself. Prison, I was in a personal prison without cell walls; yet it was such a small, lonely place.

It took me so long but I know who I am. Studying the old heritage and oral history of my ancestors has been water upon parched lands.I see the wisdom in each tale, the dual meanings in each poetic Edda. It is strength to discover who you are and where your roots have belonged all along.

med kærlighed og ære Josette

Unquenchable Flame

Forever, a perpetual and endless devotion of his absence physically or presently

Oh..but if he knew that forever his essence remained with her eternally

Existing, engraved, etched within her heart and mind like an ancient secret, his hieroglyphics on every inch, he possessed her completely

Would such love, could it, survive beyond their graves? Or will their memory cease to exist? And so she lay haunted continually..

The thought of their love being reborn again shall haunt her, imagining they could reach beyond time, beyond boundaries… To finally, just be, free.

*For the love possessed within thee is immeasurable by all things.  May her ghost return to thee and bring peace.

Scenes from my novel

Oh how the sound of crunching gnawed away at my patience vehemently. Would the journey cease at some point? (Sooner, rather than later preferably)

Our bodies shook violently; while the wind cut through our layers like razors. Night sounds crept around us slowly and we knew it would prevent us from moving forward until daybreak. 

      “We should light a fire, no?” Gunnar looked up from the snow covered log     he decided to lounge on.

      “What about the wolves? Don’t you   hear them in the distance?” 

      “Well, warrior Queen, they’re the least of our problems. Wouldn’t you agree?”

Andra hung her head in silence momentarily. 

       “I suppose you’re right.”

***A scene from my novel Kingdom Rising*** 

Thinking cap on! Wish me luck xo

Ten Quote Tuesday Writing Prompt: “I don’t remember my birthdays.”

Here are the choices:

Writing Prompts

  • Include all these elements into a scene: sports tickets, a candle, discouragement, and drawing.
  • Have a scene with a self-conscious politician.
  • Start your scene with this line: I don’t remember my birthdays.

Here is the original post for the writing prompts: http://ryanlanz.com/2015/01/13/ten-quote-tuesday-23/comment-page-1/#comment-4941

I drew inspiration for the protagonist from my own loss. My Mom passed in 2010.

          I don’t remember my birthdays anymore. I’ve left them behind the day the woman who gave me life was gone. What good would this day do me; if all it did was remind me of her? I lay in bed trying to avoid every person who knew this day once existed. Why did they feel the need to torture me with their joy? Their smiles burned holes in my soul like acid. I just want to sleep until tomorrow; I’ll come out of my cave when this pain has passed over me.
They can have the cake; the wishes; even the god damn balloons. They are the ones who want that stuff anyway. “Go ahead, eat your fucking cake, and blow out the damn candles.” You can take this day as your own, then you’ll have two days to celebrate. Please don’t search for me, I never sent an S.O.S.
Curled in a ball like a fetus again with the blankets over my head to drown the sun; I can see her image in my mind. She smiles at me, and I could hear her voice so clear. “Happy Birthday.” Oh this mind has become my enemy too; it won’t let me forget the memories of you. I do not wish to surrender to this joy. Why are you trying to make me feel? The numbness is what has kept me alive. To feel is to remember, and I do not want to go to that place again.
Slumber calls me after the agony of existing awake on this god forsaken day. Sleep gives me peace, it is the only place I am free from everything. The clouds dance in the sky above; while the birds sing in harmony. I sit in the sun alone, I am free. I rise to my feet, and run. I run so fast like I was late for something but I didn’t know what.
Awake so suddenly to the sound of birds singing outside the window. Alas, the day has passed. I made it again! I don’t know how long I can keep this up but for now I will take this success. I can live beyond the day that once connected us two. Never, will you find me celebrating apart from the woman who gave me life. That was our day, a day she loved to remember.

Written By: Josette Hansen
Pseudonym Adinah Schramm
Copyright ©

The News

This is for the writing prompt “Ten Quote Tuesday.” I chose the quote: “It had been at least a minute since he last blinked.”
Here is a link to the original post: Ten Quote Tuesday

     It had been at least a minute since he last blinked; he sat in silence across the table. She tried to imagine what was going on inside his head. “Would he be happy to be a Father again?” She was afraid to say another word. His expression; heck, his reaction scared her.
     She swallowed her last piece of bread slowly, and cleared her throat, ahem. She was hoping he would look at her, but he didn’t. “Are you not happy?” She finally blurted out; her heart was racing.
     The fire snapped; breaking his long trance with the candle flame. He placed his napkin gently on his plate, and rose from his seat; a smile emerging upon his face. “Of course I’m happy.”
     He walked over to her, grabbing her hands. He lifted her up from her seat, and lay kisses on her eyes. “I’m more than happy love.” He hugged her tightly. “Come let’s tell the children.”

Written by: Josette Hansen
Pseudonym Adinah Schramm
Copyright ©2014

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