One of these days, I’m going to get the balancing act figured out.
I am embracing — again, always, and it’s always this struggle! — writing as a spiritual practice. For me, that doesn’t mean always writing about spiritual things; in fact, lately it’s meant going whole hog into fiction. Which is amazing and awesome, but I hit this point, every single time. Which point? The point where I begin to wonder and worry: right now, the characters whose story I’m learning and telling are so very, very real. Now, I enjoy this part. I have no fears or doubts or worries about my sanity — these characters are real. I’m spending a lot of time with them right now. If they aren’t real to me during the story telling process, I don’t believe I have any business trying to share their stories. We can get into the metaphysics of writing all we want — are they only real to me? Are they real outside of me? Are they real like the gods are real? — but ultimately that’s just a distraction. From experience I know that some will remain in my life after the stories are told and some will fade away, like a friend that you’ve had for a particular time period that you grow apart from. And some I can’t wait to be away from, honestly. Like the gods, like the spirits, unlike them . . . I’m realizing, as I grow as a writer, that those sorts of boundaries and compartments and distinctions are about as useless for me to have in regards to my relationships as a writer as they are for me have in my relationships with my spirits. It is as it is, it will be as it will be, and defining boundaries is only as useful as it is useful, and ought to be set aside when it is not. And in these matters, it is not useful for me.
But I have these moments of guilt and, also, of yearning — when I find that I’m spending all my waking hours thinking about the story I’m currently endeavoring to tell, rather than spending time thinking about and speaking with Poseidon, or Odin, or any of the Others in my life, but mostly Poseidon. I discovered yesterday that I missed Poseidon. And this came after an interaction that was unexpected and reminded me very much that He is His own being outside of myself, and has His own agenda. I don’t consciously forget that, but we get caught up in our own point of view, right? Am as guilty as the next person, in the middle of the work week, after a day of getting a ton of words out and being brain dead the next day.
We seek out Their presence. It’s what I do when I open or close my shrine at night, in my morning and evening prayers, in my sharing of my tea. It’s what I do when I’m journaling (we won’t talk about how long it has been since I last journalled, or how that might feed into feeling as though I’m missing Him) and what I do when I meditate. I’m reaching for Him and being aware of Him in the world and in my life. We are responsible, in these relationships with our Gods, to bring Them into our world. By now, I’ll admit that I take His presence in my life a tad for granted. I expect that the majority of the time, when I reach for Him, I’ll feel Him embracing me, pulling that reaching toward Him, or even feel Him reaching back. Not always and it’s taken time and experience to make those moments not be devastating, but I’m proud that I’ve made it that far. What still catches me off guard is when He reaches out and opens me up to His presence when I’m not expecting it, and for no other apparent reason than that He can and desires to do so at that particular time.
It was wonderful, of course, and naturally I basked in it — who wouldn’t? But the following day I was left with this feeling of missing Him. And I’m realizing that part of that, at least, is because, in the throes of new story love, I have dropped not just some of my foundational practices, but my awareness of Him. “Yes, yes, Poseidon, wonderful, but look at these new people!!”
I’ve talked before about how I’m not an impassioned writer. I don’t write and forget the world around me. Except, maybe, at times, I do. Curious. Ah, the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves.
Not sure what the solution for this is going to be, other than to start bringing my awareness back to Him. Because I feel guilty, I want to say I have to do X amount of rituals for Him, big and elaborate and extensive, but, you know, that’s not what’s going on. It’s more, pursue your calling but not to the detriment of your relationships. It’s a give and take, a balancing act, and I need to get better at it. Which means listening to the needs — mine, His, the relationship’s — and adjusting accordingly. Not doing it all one way or the other, which is always, always where I stumble.