I was just reading, as you do, and I read a line that struck me. At closing, he said, “…I was pretending I was on a mission from God.”
And my immediate thought was, you are.
If you follow a god of any sort then what else would you be doing in this life?
I’m a pretty hardcore believer in gods and owe fealty to my god in particular. And that colors my actions.
I use the Bender analogy from Futurama. In it, he’s floating in space and a tiny civilization springs up. He tries to help them. But he’s too vast, too large, and his actions cause huge effects which have many unintended consequences.
So, what’s a god to do?
Well, we are what. Those of us who have faith are charged with acting in big and small ways which reflect the will of our deity.
It’s one of the reasons I have trouble with modern religions. People are always praying for something or asking their deity for something. Faith isn’t a transaction. You don’t give them faith and they give you what you want. They don’t exist to serve you.
You serve them. You act in faith for them. If you wish to pray for things then answer your own prayer. You are here as the will of your god. Act like it. Without looking for benefit. In faith.
The gentle breeze tousles dark strands
Bled thru to blood
Each warble singing joy
Steady hum of distant roads
Leading to lives
This quiet perfection
Marred only by absence
And the fleeting thoughts
That if a choice were to be made
Today would have been a good day
And a lament
For who can be truly content
In such perfection
Without your lips on mine
Listening to static
Accept me as fanatic
I pray as I ascend
But in exultation
Joyous in the unbearable minutes
Whispering regretful goodbyes
In the weight of step by step
The sea seethes
Rages against the earth
Beating itself against its ramparts
Wearing it down to sand
The storm watches
The earth burns
Slow molten rock
Destroy itself to build bridges
The storm builds
The flames dance
Racing through life
Extinguish to extinguish
Consuming life creates life
The storm endures
Death doesn’t take or steal
People do that
We do that
Death is a herald of transition
A gateway from one state to another
In its best guise, a traveler
One who walks beside the living
Ready and able to ease the transition
We think to bargain with a power who is powerless to stop. We think we are alone. We think that physical existence is the everything. We have forgotten as much as we have learned.
We have discarded information we cannot prove when the method of proving is a thing of narrow invention. One designed to show that even the “real” is not wondrous. In a petulant rejection of what was.
We invent things and say that they are all there is. Because it’s a less scary world, when we have or can obtain, all of the answers. And perhaps we could actually achieve that. If we stopped attempting to force things we don’t understand and cannot measure into the the twin boxes of impossible.
If science were so pure, it would not start with the rejection of the wisdom of our ancestors. It would instead ask, how can we learn these things without also destroying their beauty.
Death does not bargain. Life does not care. Storms do not rage. We attribute what is in ourselves to that which is alien to us. We narrow things down to only. Instead of accepting that while a process may be observed, the process is not the thing. The component parts are not the thing entire.
Your eyes and heart is waiting
Coursing motes streak through veins
Each sharp as splintered hopes
Each cold as night with no moon in the dark of winter
We are seen
We are known
And in the blind truth of waking
We find ourselves alive
Alive in silence
The deep quiet that shakes the world
The kiss of a world made distant by constant noise
With the vain hope of holding on
To a few more hours
Of being whole
Every year my family gets together to celebrate the holidays, Christmas and Thanksgiving. And every year they ask someone to say a prayer. This year they asked me. I said no. I was gracious about it, but I said No.
Because how do I say a prayer when it won’t be to their god. How can I say a prayer when it will first be spoken in the language of my prayers then again in their language. How would I explain that we don’t give thanks for what our god gave us but ask what we can do for our god. Not a god of blessings but one of a deeper path. How do I explain an entire lifetime of belief and structure and obligate choices. How do I even this prayer which is orchestrated would be an affront.
I don’t know. Don’t know how to tell them I’m not like them. In how many ways I’m not like them. And even when they grasp my paganism, they think that yule is a good thing, something similar to a celebration instead of a solemn affair.
It’s exhausting to stay quiet. To not broach subjects. To keep quiet on others. And still, there is always more. Lines that can’t be crossed and words that can’t be said.
My god would say, “The work is the work. You have to act before you can know.” And that’s true but how do you tell them that what they presume, even when told repeatedly otherwise, isn’t true.
It’s an odd feeling. To be included but excluded at the same time. To belong to something but not fit into it. There is a pressure and a sadness there.
I know how easy it would be to give in, to shred my self and conform. To lie and mouth their words in petty forgery of faith.
But then who would I be?
Every night feels long
Tossing and turning
Waiting for words to come
Today is the Winter Solstice. Today the strength of night surges and fades. Today winter wakes and reaches forth its hand.
Today it all ends and maybe begins again. The spent fury of transition.
Today is a day of relunctance. Wanting one more hour of sleep. Reaching out across dreams. Hoping to give a moment of peace.
Feeling unsettled and anxious.
Today is a day of contemplation. Of enacting last strategies. And setting last pieces on the board.
Today is the winter solstice.
Today night surges and fades.
Today Winter unfurls and spends its fury on the world
Faint breathe stirs the reeds
Dance pained revelry
Placed careful step
Leaves clatter against each other
Heat sears flesh
Woke to heel slashing earth
Arms raised in supplication
Words drift to too blue sky
A hum barely heard
Clatter of bones thrust in almost flight
Catching air before crash to earth
Clothes plastered to flesh
Pushed into place
Exultation to the darkening sky
Storm clouds bully their way through the heat
Stealing the sun’s tormented pleasure
Quickened by succor
Half second rumble proclaims
I HAVE COME
Storm sings a lament
Tears slash open across the face of the world
Dust splashes upwards
Turning slowly to mud
What was called is risen
And a woken storm
Deep throat undulations
And still they dance
Bound to these borders
A petty king
Time holds hostage
While she dances to spring
Break the read
Longing for the first breath of ice