We all have those moments — or at least, I’m telling myself we all have those moments — when we reach a new height of clarity in some matter or another, and are horrified to look back and see how close we were to that clarity and how intent we were on looking away from it. I am striving, with moderate success, to remain compassionate and to focus on the parts of this clarity that nourish me, to allow those bits that dance into horrified not become all-consuming to the point of stand-still again.
I’ve been talking about this off and on, briefly, with other people in other, more private places, because since the 1st, there have been some pieces of me that feel utterly fragile and unwilling to share here.
As some of you may already know, I’m reading through, and working through select pieces of Christopher Penczak’s Temple of Witchcraft series. Originally I opened the books as a means of distraction, back on the 3rd — because for us it seems “light reading” involves non-fiction that is not strictly academic theses, and because I didn’t have any easy, I-don’t-care-if-I-don’t-pay-attention fiction . . . and because even when I’m heart sore, I apparently am still always reaching for Poseidon — in this case, the theme is self-awareness. For those not in the know, the very first theme He brought into my life was awareness — of ones environment, of contributing factors, of points-of-view not my own, and, too, being self-aware. This has been, for nearly two decades, a constant with Him, on this path I walk. Striving, always striving, even if my always striving sometimes ignores myself entirely and other times looks at no one other than myself. I started the read through with a later book in the series and was asked to start with book one, to read through them all, and to let Him pick out which exercises would become part of my days.
Something shifted/returned/something upon the reading. There’s much about the books that irk me (not the least is the poor editing) but I have gained far more from the reading, and the few exercises that I’ve picked up. More than anything, better than anything, is reading these books with Him and listening to His feedback, and letting Him guide how I’m to proceed. Secondarily almost as awesome is rediscovering energy work that isn’t just prayer or rune work.
Don’t get me wrong — I love my song for Poseidon. I love my prayer time that is slightly more formal than just conversation with Him. I have a deep love for the Mysteries of the runes. But, while I do walk a devotional path — I don’t really know what else one would call it — there is more to it for me than just performing rituals in His honor, more than reciting and writing prayers for Him, more than doing galder. When I’m being completely honest, my doing rituals for Him, my creating of the number of festivals for Him that did not exist in antiquity, is what *I* wanted to give to Him, was nothing He asked for. It was me looking at other gods with other festivals — a whole years’ worth!! — and being indignant, because He deserves as much, by golly! But, what has been His Rule, these many years. “Awareness. Compassion. Healing.”
I’m enjoying looking at other spiritual and religious paths. I’m remembering that I get more out of looking at what people who are walking a much different path from me are talking about and doing and studying than I get from looking at what people who walk a similar path as me are talking about and doing and studying. It does more to foster compassion to look at the common ground we might share, even though their outer trappings are different, even though their path does not focus on awareness or compassion or healing. And, I’ll stress as I often stress that I’m not after altruistic compassion — the compassion I have makes me more easily able to interact with people. It is my anchor, I suppose, to make sure I can still tap into this consensual reality that we share, when I need to — and I need to, because there are people I love dearly who live there. Because I’m a caretaker for many who depend upon me. Also, looking at more different than the same paths satisfies that inner voyeur — er, I mean, storyteller and gatherer.
So far, I’m able to maintain that “gently horrified” sense, without it snowballing into something worse. It’s rather like coming out of a black mood and realizing how much I’ve missed Zerk or Corbie, when they’ve been here all along. I’ve missed pieces of myself that I haven’t spent time with for a while. It had to happen — it led me to here and there’s no point second-guessing. I really do not enjoy moments of “I wish X hadn’t happened!” because you never know which parts contributed to the here and now. And, here and now, I’m better than I’ve been in years. Better enough that June 1st is getting a mark on my calendar, because it’s a Day When Shit Happened, and it’s very awesome. My gods love me. “Here, this? This is all crap, it’s time for it to go, here, I’ll just take that.” Never mind the dark, dark places it drives me. Never mind the words I utter. Never mind the accusations and the sense of betrayal that He knows will all pass once I realize how utter amazing He is, how amazing They are.
And now, baby tomatoes! When these grow up (hopefully soon!) they will be Indigo Rose tomatoes: purple and black cherry-ish tomatoes. Likely way too acidic for me to eat many of, but look it how pretty!