Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Page 5 of The Dancing Valkyrie

It had not always been so. She had been raised a Catholic and continued to consider herself a Catholic when going to college and studying to be a librarian. In fact, she was still a librarian at the Schenectady County Library in downtown Schenectady when not on stage at the club. But while going to college, she had taken a job dancing at The Limina to help pay for her education. After college, she continued to work at The Limina even after she had paid off her student loans. The fact was, she had come to admit, she liked to dance and she liked doing it with the fewest possible clothes the law would allow. She only kept her job at the library because she knew there would come a time when she would be too old to dance. But being nude had been a thing of hers, going back as far as she could remember. Even before her body flowered into womanhood, she liked to strip down and frolic in the woods that were part of her father’s farm. On warm summer days, she would often pack a lunch and head off for the woods where she would strip when she felt safe from prying eyes and pretend she was a Native American princess. When her body did blossom, she would sometimes pretend she was a witch. The idea of being a witch came about quite by accident. Something pagan had always been in Mary, though she never thought about Paganism until she read a book by Gerald Gardner, “Witchcraft Today.” At first, it seemed like a lot of nonsense and she thought she shouldn’t be reading it. But there were things in it that seemed to fit with her view of the world. What attracted her most were the nature aspects of Witchcraft and the idea of a loving Goddess as well as a God. She had always felt closer to God when contemplating nature than when she was in church at Sunday Mass. And yet, although there were elements of Witchcraft tempting to Mary, its ideas became dormant after finishing the book, largely because she never knew anyone who practiced Witchcraft and because she truly did believe in and loved Jesus. Also, a central idea in Witchcraft, the idea of reincarnation, did not make any sense to her. She viewed her body as herself. She could not be herself without her body. She could not be a man and could not imagine looking like any other woman but herself. But the idea of Witchcraft would make a sudden and unexpected comeback on this hike into the Adirondack woods

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