I woke up this morning exhausted from the working last night. I forget, every year, that the energy work is a Real Thing that has Real Consequences, and I was groggy like I’d been up for days. I lazed in bed with Corb for a bit, which was awesome. (He was supposed to be helping me get out of bed. It didn’t work)
I reached for my phone while I fought the urge to get out of bed and get moving. I was up before my “get out of bed” time, and darn it, I wanted to stay snugged in with my bedbug. I checked FB, as one does, and suddenly didn’t want to leave the bedroom ever, ever again. I was still, still trying to work up the nerve to watch the Alton Sterling videos. (I have the privilege of not having to deal with this shit daily or personally, which sort of makes me feel like I’m obligated to look, rather than look away). It hadn’t even been a full day since I’d learned about his execution, and now this? For fuck’s sake.
We’re one day into the Vigil for the Bulls. Already, it’s shaping up to be more than I could have expected it to be, and in totally different ways. Vishnu is part of the devotions this time around, and I’m struggling with that, because the lines between Poseidon and Vishnu are . . . fluid, if you will, and I can’t begin to pin them down. They greeted me, during the energy work, together, the Two of Them, overlapping like images on a photo that’s been double-exposed. They took my hands and brought me to Bull. Or, a bull. My mind argued that it ought to have been a huge animal, the quintessential bovine, towering, massive. Or a short-haired creature like you see in Eastern art. But, no. No, the creature I was brought before was a black, long-haired bull that most resembled the Scottish Highland breed. He/They lead me to this creature, placed my hands upon his side, and he lowered his head to my shoulder. He/They lead me to this creature, and we hugged each other, and just were.
The thing that unsettles me the most about this experience is not the urge it’s kicked up in me to once again attempt moving my diet to a vegetarian, and eventually vegan, diet; this happens every year with the Vigil, and every year I try again. It’s not the headache-inducing presentation of Poseidon-n-Vishnu-as-One-yet-Not, because I’m slowly getting used to that. It’s not even Poseidon pushing me harder to dismantle the compartments that I’ve built up between Them in my understanding, which He got serious about yesterday as I tried to explain where I’m coming form with my confusion. “I know all of this, I don’t care. Stop doing it.”
The most unsettling thing was the feel of the animal against my shoulder. It was the feel of his fur under my hands. I kept trying to bring my mind to the bulls running half a world away, and my mind kept coming back to this image, instead. I don’t have experiences like this. When I meditate, when I do journey work, it’s never tactile. Never, never, never. When I talk about being in Poseidon’s arms, I never mean that I feel Him holding me with physical arms. This bovine felt as solid under my hands as Corbie does, pressed against me, and he had sentience. He was real.
I carried this with me, as I woke up, and was greeted by the news. For me, it’s interwoven, this Grief that is Holy, and this grief that is consuming our country. How do I gain this better understanding of the individuality of non-human species, and not apply it to my own kind? How do I gain this better understanding of life being sacred, and not apply it to our kind? Life is sacred, and people are being slaughtered. Life is sacred, and people are being executed before their family. Not just across the world. Not just in some third world country under a dictator’s regime, where you expect this to happen.
Here. Now. And too many people don’t care. We cannot be this apathetic. We can’t.
I don’t know what to do with this. It sits heavy around me. I’m lost in it.
I want this Vigil to be about the bulls, about Poseidon, but all I can do is feel this gnawing helplessness. I am not doing this. I did not cause this. I cannot stop this. But I can’t look away anymore. We can’t. We can’t.
#BlackLivesMatter – and if you feel inclined to come back with any ‘all lives matter’ bullshit, do me a favor, would you? Find that unfollow button on the screen, click it, and don’t come back.