Hello, COVID Positivity!: Plus, Hymns to the Great Goddess
Labukaaaaas, friends from around the world! (Hiiii!)
I'm one day late pressing Send on this bad boy because, well, I tested positive for COVID yesterday morning and decided to take time to rest. (What's rest!?) Both The Scientist and I are down for the count, coughing our little baby hearts out, although I'm decidedly more impacted. (Cool, cool!)
This is actually both of our first time testing positive since the pandemic began - at least in any official manner - so I'm... relieved? Excited to take a test with Lithuanian instructions? (Such a language nerd, oh my God.) I'm feeling very blessed to have friends here in Vilnius checking in on my stats, picking up groceries, and just overall being kind humans. (I may also have catalyzed my intense fatigue into watching the entirety of Voices of Fire on Netflix - why do I always want to sing when I've lost my voice!? Yes, we have COVID to thank for that, too.)
Hopefully, we're on the upswing and out of the woods soon, although I'm more accustomed to going into forests than out of them. Eh, whatever it takes to make this vicious cough leave my body. Moving into one of the most intense holidays on the Jewish calendar that involves fasting and self-reflection, I feel like I've got one leg up on the competition, what with my current disposition. Food? Who needs food right now?
Anyway, here's to healing and speedy recoveries to go along with epic Break the Fast memories from my cousin's house. Onwards!
Last week, I was holding my monthly women's circle when my friend reminded me that the Romuva-infused music group she participates in, Kūlgrinda, was holding a concert in the city center for their newest album release. After coming back from winding tangents on one of our favorite goddesses - what, you don't have a favorite goddess?! - I was grateful to be reminded of this event honoring the Great Goddess (Didžiajai Deivei). If you remember from last week, I was really bummed to have missed Lithuania's Rudens lygiadienis (Autumn Equinox) celebrations while away in Germany, so this reminder came at the perfect time. Truly.
Great Goddess (Didžiajai Deivei)
When one of my American friends texted me saying she wanted to join, I knew I had to go. How cool to share this moment with someone who hadn't yet experienced the immense depth of Lithuania's spiritual connection to nature? America is such a diaspora of culture for those without immediate connections to their previous generations' cultures - no wonder we were both attracted to the richness of this event. It was gorgeous: sutartinės (my favorite, polyrhythmic chanting), joy, drumming, taking turns singing, sharing generational knowledge, and sharing the spirit even with a language barrier. Music has no language barrier.
More than anything, I was profoundly reminded of the impact of ritual in even the smallest moments, whether you're honoring reverence in your life through performance or the tiniest prayer of gratitude - and I'd recommend getting your hands on something like this as soon as you can.
If you live in Vilnius - or anywhere in Lithuania - have you been to an equinox or solstice event? Have you seen anyone playing the kanklės? And if you're considering visiting Lithuania, are there any events you'd like to attend? (I'd strongly recommend Joninės, or Rasos.) Let me know!
Feel free to subscribe at the bottom of this page to receive a bi-weekly email from me on whatever's on my heart that day! And as always, I'll see you next time here at Into the Forests I Go - iki pasimatymo - see you soon, and don't be a stranger!
Be kind to one another.