(Wo)Man in Love, or When Gods Collide

Last night, I had a lovely conversation with WMFH about how in love he is with his girlfriend. It was amazing how his face lit up in this expression of pure bliss as he spoke of her. Love can make anyone beautiful, and every time he mentions her he becomes positively beatific. I know that look, because since my weekend of passion with my Paramour, I have been beamish and blissful myself. There is something so transcendent in loving and being loved. I used to think that my modus operandi with men was unhealthy, that my my propensity for hypersexuality and tendency to fall in love with them as easily and completely as I do was a sign of some emotional instability on my part. As I have gotten older and my spiritual quest has become more focused, I have realized that this is why I am here. This is what I do. My affections can serve a purpose. I have always felt that I failed at being nurturing, because I tended to only feel nurturing toward men I was in love with. Now I see that this can be beautiful. Sometimes giving love without asking for it in return can be the most fulfilling love of all. Rather than seeing my affections as being something I inflict upon someone in a desperate attempt to win their love in return, I can see now that I am giving them something, something that every person on earth could always use more of. The pain comes when you expect something in return. Adjusting your expectations is necessary to avoid this pain. Of course, it helps immensely that I have my husband now to ground me. There is little risk to loving someone if you know that at the end of the day you have someone to recharge your batteries and love you in return.
Me at college
Me, feeling a little blissed out, at college at 42, married, dating, and kinda loving middle age. It was test day, and test day means 2 things: cookies and cleavage. The cookies were apple almond cinnamon bars and the cleavage is front and center.

I feel that my relationship with the gods has been a critical part of recognizing love for what it is and what it isn’t. Love can transform you, but it shouldn’t be relied on to change you. Love can rescue you, but you can’t expect it to save you. Love is like gravity; the strongest force known and the weakest (is a physics reference too obscure? Meh, you all seem like a PBS kind of crowd). During music appreciation class, WMFH played some Gregorian chants while discussing the importance of monophony in conveying the sacred nature of the chant. My Little Inner Voice said to me, “music is how the god within us speaks to the god outside of us”. The conversation with him after class made me realize that love and sex are how the god within us speaks to the god within others. This is why the experience is so unique to each situation. Every relationship is a different conversation, a different interaction. I have learned that love, any love, is what it is and cannot be defined by anyone. It cannot be molded into something it doesn’t want to be. Because it isn’t about us, it is manifestation of the divine seeking the divine in the physical world.

My Paramour and I have been like lovesick teenagers for the last week, texting and Skyping and calling each other for hours on end every day, all giggling and pillow talk and future plans. There was a time in my life where all I would have seen was the inevitable entropy of our relationship, the gradual decay of our orbit ending in a crash landing back to earth. Now I feel that I am able to embrace my emotions as well as accept his affection for me without question. I don’t worry about if he thinks I am too fat, or that my breasts aren’t as perky as they once were (although they are still quite remarkable for a woman my age thankyouverymuch). The fact that he is as insanely hypersexual as I am, combined with our decade long history and friendship makes us uniquely suited for each other. He is everything I ever dreamed of having in a “lover”, as if he were custom made for me. I tease him that he is my male maenad, our encounters fueled by an animal abandon and savage ecstatic debauchery.

The love that I get from my husband is so lovely and unconditional, almost maternal at times. Ours is a relationship of deep and serious affection and respect, and a protectiveness that I had never known before I met him. He is the man I want to walk through life with, swords raised and battle-cry howling.

My love for my best friend is timeless, we have been together for so long and through so much that it is seamless and effortless, as much a part of myself as my right hand.

I consider myself so very blessed to be surrounded by men who love me and accept my love in return. Each man in my life is a different conversation, a different song, a different kind of love. It truly feels like I am talking to gods and the joy at being so fortunate to be able to participate in the conversation is exquisite.

At our wedding, we asked Co-Priest to read the story of the origin of love from Plato’s Symposium, but ultimately Hedwig said it best:

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Music Monday – Classical Music

I love classical music, but I am woefully ignorant of it (hence Herr WMFH’s Music Appreciation class. Hey, it isn’t all about me being a man crazy nympho!) I am one of those hunt and peck classical fans. I listen to things I like, follow the recommendations on eMusic (I hate iTunes, they are overpriced and draconian in their restrictions), and generally just try to find things that work for me. I used to buy albums (that’s vinyl LPs, kiddies) at used record stores just to try things out. I have no idea if what I am listening to is considered “good”, I just know I like it. I tend to like Beethoven for symphonies and Wagner for opera. Chopin gives me serious girl wood. Literally, listening to Chopin physically turns me on, I’m not kidding. I recently discovered Faure’s Requiem and fell in love with his shimmering, icy, angelic beauty. I have a total crush on Gustav Mahler, his music has this brilliant awkwardness to it, as if he’s a brooding teenager who desperately wants to say something profound but it never comes out right. And people can smack talk Sarah Brightman all they want, she has an incredible voice and flexibility, I don’t care if she was a disco biscuit in her day.
After memorizing (and now being able to recite from memory, thank you very much) “Der Erlkönig”, my next German conquest is learning to sing “Ode an die Freude” from Beethoven’s 9th. Unfortunately, because I was always stuck in the 1st tenor section in choir that’s all I can manage to sing in a choral situation (I’m actually a Dramatic Mezzo Soprano, but I project best in my lower register. When I was singing daily my voice was like a weapon: strong, loud and powerful. Sadly, I am completely tone deaf and lack the precision to actually do anything with it. In other words, I’m a total Ethel Merman).

Most Played Classical Tracks This Week
Tristan & Isolde: Isoldes Liebestod – Richard Wagner
A Village Romeo and Juliet: The Walk to the Paradise Garden – Frederick Delius
Lohengrin Prelude to Act III – Royal Philharmonic/Richard Wagner
Polonaise No. 6 in A flat major, Op. 53, “Heroic” – Chopin
The Flower Duet (Lakmé) – Leo Delibe
Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen: Ging heut morgen übers Feld – Gustav Mahler
3 Gymnopedies: 1ere Gymnopedie. Lent et douloureux – Erik Satie
Messe Basse – Kyrie eleison – Gabriel Fauré
Berceuse in D flat major, Op. 57 – Chopin
Hungarian Dances, WoO 1: No. 1 – Johannes Brahms
O Mio Babbino Caro – Maria Callas/Puccini
Finlandia: Op. 26 – Jean Sibelius
9th Symphony (Choral) – Ludwig van Beethoven

Pagan Blog Project Week 4- Books: Transmundane, Lascivious, and Macabre

BOOKS.

My world is filled with them. As an ADF dedicant, you read. A lot. Not only that, but due to my lack of formal higher education, I am having to read a great deal of crap to fill the gaps in my knowledge in order to fully understand the material I am working with. I used to be a much faster reader, but the MS has caused a deficit in my short term memory. Still, my entire life has been centered on my prodigious reading skills.

I learned how to read before kindergarten, and by the time I was in the 1st grade the teachers began to recognize that I was far beyond the abilities of my peers. I was in my own reading group throughout most of elementary school, even when they held me back in the 4th grade because of my complete lack of math skills (my school district had some purely evil policies about how your math and language skills had to be on par with each other, which meant you were held at whichever skill was the lowest. They destroyed so many lives this way.) I was reading at a college level before junior high and could read 1,000 words per minute with a 90% comprehension rate. Consequently, I ended up reading many books at an age where I wasn’t socially or emotionally able to understand them. I read “The Hobbit” when I was 7, “The Exorcist” at 9, and many of the classics such as Dickens, Shakespeare, and Dostoevsky before I was old enough to menstruate. Of course I remember very little of these books today. After all, who can comprehend Nihilism when you are still looking forward to Sesame Street each afternoon?

I have always had a large collection of books, and tragically I have no place to put them all. I still have books from my childhood, books that belonged to my mother, antique books, and self-published books from friends. I collect all the supernatural and ancient history themed Time-Life series* for fun, and I used to have a huge collection of fairy tales and nursery rhymes that has been picked clean by scavengers and the sands of time. At least a good 85% of my books are non-fiction. I really don’t enjoy fiction, it has to be something pretty exceptional for me to want to read it. I have books on the social history of crying, books about prostitution in the Weimar Republic, books about the correlations of death and eroticism in art, books about people who claim to have been brainwashed by the CIA to be Boxcar Willie’s sex slave (this is a real book. I am not kidding). The majority of my books cover the following subjects: sex, religion, history, anthropology, death, and mayhem. I have spent decades scouring used bookstores, Powell’s, yard sales, and researching catalogs like Loompanics, Amok, and Feral House to flesh out my library of the transmundane, lascivious, and macabre. And I want more.

I calculated that for the ADF Dedicant/Clergy program plus the Bardic studies program I will probably have to read between 75-200 books, depending on how in depth I want to be. My memory deficit is making this difficult, and so reading has become more of a chore than it once was (I have a tendency to forget what I have read a few pages back and have to do a great deal of re-reading in order to retain the information). Still, I love the process and I love my books.

Oh, and PS, fuck Kindle. I know people love those things, but when the apocalypse comes and you can’t recharge that soulless slice of fuck-all I will still have knowledge, beeyotches.

Read the rest of this entry »

Striking a Blow for Iseult

As mentioned previously, this weekend was the resolution of a decade-long star-crossed love affair of Shakespearean proportions (if Shakespeare had included porn, divorce, and dot coms). So here is a little modern fairy tale for you.

Once upon a time, there was a Princess. Of course this Princess happened to be a project manager at a dot com in her early thirties, but this is the 21st century and we have to adapt. The Princess was quite lonely, eligible princes being in short supply at her age. One day, a handsome Troubadour wandered into the Princess’ kingdom (also known as rented office space over a dive bar in the city). This Troubadour was married to a cruel and venomous Witch who shunned and spurned the Troubadour in favor of the attentions of her Sapphic sisters, which wouldn’t be so bad except she neglected to mention this proclivity to her husband and instead made him feel inadequate and lonely for years on end. The Troubadour and the Princess soon discovered they had much in common, including a love of music, horror movies, and German internet pornography (I did warn you this was a tale of modern romance). Soon, a great friendship grew, and that friendship in turn began to grow into something else. However, the Troubadour, although unhappy and neglected in his marriage, was steadfast in his fidelity to the Witch. The duo spent many a maenadic evening over the years, drunk on hot sake and sexually frustrated, yearning for each other but limited to few abbreviated gropings and subscription to “Das Haus von Spanking und Naughty Schulmädchen”.

One day, the Witch finally up and left the Troubadour. He was devastated, but the Princess was filled with hope. Now, at last, they could be together! She decided to wait it out, give him time, after all, he had just been through a horrible divorce after 18 years in a dysfunctional marriage. She held his hand, dried his tears, and tried to be the supportive friend he needed. After a while, things seemed to be heading in the right direction. Then one dark and stormy night, the Troubadour told the Princess he had a date… with another woman. The Princess was heartbroken, but understood that it was probably best if he saw other women. He had been in a floundering relationship for close to 20 years, and he should play the field, as it were. Still, it made her sad. In tears, she called one of her best friends, the Villain of Our Story. She told the Villain that the Troubadour had a date with another woman. The Villain told her in no uncertain terms to cut the guy loose, that their relationship was unhealthy and that the Princess was better off without him. That night was the last time she spoke to the Troubadour for 7 years. He never called her back. A piece of the Princess died that day, a warm little corner of her heart that she had held for him for almost 3 years. Shortly after that, she met the fearless Knight that would become her beloved husband, but she never forgot the Troubadour who had so cruelly cast her aside.

Seven years passed, and a mutual friend came to the Princess with a report. He had spent time with her Troubadour, and the picture was not pretty. The Troubadour had gotten drunk and tearfully told the friend that letting the Princess go was the biggest mistake of his life. That the only reason he had agreed to go out with another woman was at the insistence of his dying German mother (one does not ignore a German mother, dying or otherwise). Now he was deeply entrenched in a mid-life crisis, shallowly dating multiple women he didn’t care about, sinking into alcoholism, and regretting the loss of his Princess.

The Princess decided to let bygones be bygones and see him again. The moment she laid eyes on him, she realized that nothing between them had changed. The attraction was still there, and it was even more potent than before. They talked about the past, about mistakes that were made. He told her that he hadn’t called her back after that day because of all those emails the Princess had asked her friends to send to him telling him how much she hated him.

“Wait, what??”, said the Princess. “What emails?”

It turned out that after their phone conversation, the Villain (in the guise of the Princess) had churned out a series of hateful emails to the Troubadour. This made him believe that the Princess wished no further contact with him. This was not the first time the Villain had used such tactics, nor was it the last. The Villain’s motives for these actions can be speculated, but remain mysterious and baffling. It is assumed that the Villain’s hatred for seeing anyone happy while her own marriage was failing may have been part of it.

The Troubadour and the Princess looked at each other with a wistful heartache. Seven years had passed, she was now a 40-something rural housewife slowly being claimed by a tragic neurological disease, he was staring down 50 in a cold, empty house with a bottle in his hand. They would always be the road not traveled. They would never know what could have been between them if only one of them had had the nerve to pick up a phone and call the other to find out what was actually going on. They had allowed someone else to keep them apart, and had lost 7 years.

Eventually the temptation to be together was too great, and the Princess traveled a great distance from her island to his. Almost immediately, they fell into each others’ arms, making passionate, clumsy, joyful love for hours on end. The bliss of finally being together was great as they fell asleep in each others’ arms. The next morning, they were pleased to find their friendship still intact and their desire for each other still blossoming.

Neither one knows what the future holds, even if they never made love again they would be content with finally having their dear friend back. Nothing can bring back the 7 years they had lost in the prime of their lives, no one can say what would have happened had they followed their hearts rather than let others interfere. There are lessons to be learned here, lessons about trust, about faith, about forgiveness, about not being afraid to tell the people you love how you feel. This Princess has never been so grateful to have the chance to learn those lessons in her life.

Weary Week

I’m still recovering from my whirlwind weekend of unbridled passion. I am covered with bite marks and fingerprints to the point where I look like a leopard. This week has been crazy. I would curse WMFH for the homework he has burdened me with, except he looked really hot in his glasses, so he gets a pass this time. I am such a sucker for a handsome man.

I need to rest, but I will be back with sordid details late, I promise.

Music Monday – Eivør

Eivør Pálsdóttir is a singer from the Faroe Islands. I am a huge Kate Bush fanatic, and I have never once heard a cover of a Kate Bush song that didn’t make me want to punch someone in the junk for daring to defile the Toe-shoe Fairy Princess’ art. Until I heard this. Don’t tell Kate, but I like this one better than the original.

This track… wow. She busts out some serious Faroese folk chops on this. A girl, a drum, and some incredible vocal work towards the end. This could have easily sounded silly, but she deftly turns it into something primal and fierce.

Embedding is not allowed on this track, but this video gives me the biggest girl crush on Eivør. Her ecstatic expressions are spot on, and she is virtually making love to her drum. Plus, I WANT that dress.

Eivør Palsdottir – Faroe Islands My Mother

This Week’s Playlist: When We Were Trees

Ecci Mundi Gaudium – Mediaeval Baebes – Worldes Blysse
Bierdna (The Bear) – Hedningarna – Hippjokk
Annuka Suaren Neito – Hector Zazou Feat. Värttinä – Songs From The Cold Seas
Quimmiruluapik – Tanya Tagaq – Sinaa
Ugla – Amiina – Seoul EP
To The Dancers On The Ice – Emilie Simon – La Marche De L’Empereur OST
Odin’s Raven Magic – Chapter 3 – Sigur Rós & Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson – Hrafnagaldur Óðins (Odin’s Raven Magic)
Das Rheingold – Entry of the Gods Into Valhalla Berliner Philharmoniker & Klaus Tennstedt – Richard Wagner
Prospero’s Magic – Michael Nyman – Prospero’s Books
Hounds Of Love – Eivør – Larva
Inní mér syngur vitleysingur – Sigur Rós – Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
Halling Från Makedonien (Halling From Macedonian) – Garmarna – Guds Speleman
Oró Mhíle Grá / A Thousand Times My Love – Susan McKeown w/ Ensemble Tartit – Sweet Liberty
Maany Hatyn – Ayarkhaan (Айархаан) – Dobun Duoraan (Sounds of ancient land of Olonkho) (different track)
Yakut Song – Hector Zazou Feat. Lioudmila Khandi – Songs From The Cold Seas
Í nýju húsi – Ólöf Arnalds – Við og við
Northern Sky – Nick Drake – Bryter Layter
Elephant Gun – Beirut – Lon Gisland

Pagan Politics aka “Leave Britney Alone!”

Since everyone is talking about this subject, I guess it’s my turn to weigh in:

I could not give 2 1/2 fucks what Star Foster chooses calls herself.

Not to single Ms. Foster out. I don’t know her, I don’t read her blog. I just find it completely baffling that the entire community actually feels that this one woman’s decision to stop calling herself Pagan matters in the slightest. How exactly does this effect you? Does this actually change your own self-perception? Are we all lemmings charging off the cliff now? Why are people fighting about this? Why does it mean everyone suddenly has to pick a side? And why are people heaping insane amounts of hate on this poor girl for what is ultimately a very personal decision? Even more disturbing is the fact that people are posting the most hateful personal commentary on other people’s blogs. Whatever happened to “if you can’t say something nice”?

I am aware that Ms. Foster is a rather controversial figure in the community, and when I checked her blog while researching this topic, I can’t say that I found her… completely sympathetic. However, saying that because someone comes across as a bit of a bitch on their blog means it’s ok to be abusive towards them is like saying “She was wearing a red dress! She was asking to be raped!”. YOU are the one in charge of YOUR behavior, act like a grown up and walk away from people who don’t improve your world. Just because I found her style abrasive does not invalidate what she has to say, nor is it my place to “correct” her. It means I won’t be reading her blog, and I doubt she gives 2 1/2 fucks what I choose to do either.

I have had either the great fortune or disadvantage of coming at Paganism from a uniquely isolated angle. I came of age before the advent of the internet. I have spent most of my Pagan “career” either in blissful solitude or with a close knit group of like-minded Pagans. My mother and her husband are Pagan, my sister was Wiccan, so family ostracization was never an issue. I never went through a Wiccan phase, I went straight from the confused quasi-Catholicism of my early teen years to Ceremonial and Chaos magick in my late teens and 20s to Reconstructionsim in my 30s. Even then, I managed to avoid groups and online communities, having been blessed with a circle of friends that were also of the same general faith. Even here on the island, our grove consists of around 10+ people who seem to share a similar spiritual comfort zone. Once I became active in the online Pagan community, I was appalled to learn that Pagans don’t really like each other. Even Pagans within the same “denomination” argue and bicker over the most banal points of dogma like dogs growling over a bone. Even more disappointing is the condescending “Comic Book Guy” know-it-all tone people adopt. Seriously, read just about any comment on a Pagan blog in the Comic Book Guy’s voice and you will see what I mean.

Perhaps it’s time that we all focus more on the choices we are making. The internet has made us all into cheerleaders or trolls, and very few of us are actually in the game playing. It has given Pagans a false sense of community. These people are not your friends, they are not your kindred. You may have had the good fortune to have met some decent or interesting people online, but to assume that even a small percentage of us are going to have the same world view or be able to get along based on the fact that we share an extremely tenuous umbrella faith is laughable. Star Foster’s decision to abandon the title of Pagan has no more bearing on my world than reading the latest patriarchal decree from that Hitlerjungend Sith lord sitting on his golden throne in the Vatican. It’s like apples and oranges, if the oranges had an unreasonable hatred of vag and a penchant for really silly hats. Likewise, I do not expect anyone who reads this blog to even remotely ascribe any weight to my opinions. They are my opinions, my world view. I write them down so I can work them through, I share them because this is the age of the internet and we are all attention whores in this grand electronic bordello.

Some of you might care about who calls themselves what, some of you may have even been involved in the conversation. That’s fine, I doubt any of you are the sort to go on another person’s blog and call them a fat, ignorant, whore because you disagree with them. Seriously, one of the few places in the Pagan realm I am finding reasoned discourse is at fellow ADF dedicant Teo Bishop’s blog. I find him a delight to read, a gentle and compassionate soul who seems to draw people with a positive outlook toward him. I envy his ability to wield such patience. I come from a more “HULK SMASH” space. Meh, sometimes you need whisk broom, sometimes you need a sledgehammer. I am getting better at determining when to use which.

Oh, and speaking of which, this blog is not a free-speech zone. Trolls will be deleted. I don’t feel the need to be diplomatic in my own house. I would no more tolerate someone being rude or abusive on my blog than I would allow them to come into my home and spread their own filth on my walls. To quote my all-time favorite scene from “Mommie Dearest”:

Revisionism and Counter-Revisionism in Pagan History

Here is a great article about revisionism in Pagan history from The International Journal of Pagan Studies. I definitely subscribe to the belief that Paganism is something we have recreated, not something that has been secretly brewing behind the scenes for hundreds of years. I hold no illusions that what I do is part of an unbroken tradition. I like Hutton’s comparison of the authenticity of modern Paganism to Protestantism:

In this, it was certainly based on older images and ideas, gathered from the ancient, medieval and early modern worlds, but evolved in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to suit modern needs and ideals; which it did very well, thereby explaining most of its appeal and viability. As such, it was no less genuine than any other faith which had undergone a process of renewal and revival, such as Protestant Christianity’s rejection of more than a millennium of developing Catholic theology and ritual to return to what its exponents regarded as ancient truths.

If you are accustom to peer-review journal academic style writing, it isn’t to bad a read. If you aren’t or find reading that crap like pulling teeth (as I tend to*) it can be a bit convoluted, but the information is fantastic.

*The preferred academic style of writing is so focused on making the writer sound knowledgeable that it tends to obscure the information it contains IMHO. I always imagine David Attenborough** narrating, “Here we see the Academic in his natural setting, preening his feathers in an attempt to woo his fellow academics into providing him career advancement, talk show spots, and tenure. Watch as he dances frantically, the very survival and perpetuation of his species resting on his every move…”

** OMG I was so hot for David Attenborough when I was young.

Uncrossing the Stars

Tonight, after nearly a decade, I finally got to uncross the stars with my star-crossed lover, and it was every bit as lovely as it should have been 10 years ago. We often talk about the weft of the wyrd, but sometimes the path of our threads is so amazing and intricate you really have to sit back marvel at the beauty of it. I am ever grateful for the people who I have been blessed with in my life, whom I never seem to truly lose for long. I am especially blessed with a supportive husband who knows he will forever be the love of my life, but understands my need to express my love for others.

Now if you will excuse me, a warm bed and a handsome man await…

Damn His Handsome Hide!

Curse your eyes, WMFH! Curse you for planting the seed of going to university after the school year is over. I had pretty much given up any hope of a higher education due to my being a complete prosimian when it comes to math, and now I am shopping the local U’s catalog and saying, “Ooooh! 19th century German literature!? German phonics?? Fluency Through Dramatization?!? I WANT TO GO TO THERE.” Wait, I can also take Western Mythology? Latin? Lignuistics? Russian? But.. but… but…

Damn it, damn it, damn it. I can’t afford this! But I would LOVE to actually achieve some level of fluency in German, not to mention supplement and enhance my ADF studies.

Because I want to avoid moments like this.

« Older entries

When We Were Trees

The Transpersonal Experience in Indo-European Mythology, Folklore, and Music

Northern Heim, Southern Clime

On Maenads and Valkyries

Introspective Maenad

Thoughts of an Unlikely Dionysian

Pixiecraft: Adventures of Magick and Devotion

The Life of a Practicing Pagan and Traditional Witch

leaf and twig

where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry

The House of Vines

where words grow like leaves

The Flaming Thyrsos

Memoirs of a Hekatean Wino

Syncretic Mystic

Exactly correct. You inhabit two worlds. So far, I see nothing strange.

Root Craft

Making magic in the dirt.

Eternal Bacchus

Dionysos from the end of antiquity to the present

eklogai

polytheist extractions

Black Witch

Life from a Black Pagan's Perspective

Aspis of Ares

A Devotional Exploration of Ares, the God of War

4 of Wands

A celebration of me and my interests. Unapologetically.

Down the Withywindle

All paths lead that way, down to Withywindle.

Ozark Pagan Mamma

Folk Magic, Druidism, Heathenry, & Pagan Parenting

beingaleaf

learning, growing, reaching, being :-)

The Druid in the Swamp

Druidic Musings from the Texas Gulf Coast

The Druid's Cosmos

An ADF Druid's trials, tribulations, musings, and victories

A Forest Door

Spirit-Work & Devotional Polytheism

The Wild Hunt

On Maenads and Valkyries

Pagan Reveries

"Everything is full of gods." - Thales

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