I wanted to post a little something, because I am struggling over here, with a complicated and thorny piece of writing about understanding and incorporating complicated and thorny pieces of history and culture into a practice, and I haven’t stressed about a piece of writing like this since college, because I want it to be good. I want it to be honest and true and helpful to people. I have a terrible weakness of letting the gravitational pull of a cliche drag me in, and I express things that are easy to say rather than things I believe, or I spend all my time explaining myself to some imaginary audience whose approval I am seeking in some way. So, forgive me, readership, and read this instead.
I love being ordinary. Really. I love taking on this work as I am doing it as a choice – to feel free to let it slide a little, to have wiggle room. To carry no taboos, unless you count the better judgement in the back of my head saying “really you would be more effective if you were more polite,” or “you shouldn’t publish that with all those accusations about that guy who leads the kindred you don’t like.” I love and appreciate the existence of spiritworkers and diviners and others who have honed their skill and serve their community. I want to help them, shore them up, and be part of a community with them. But their role is not my role. I don’t know what my role is yet. Sometimes I just want to buy them all a drink, cause for all that direct contact to immanent Divinity, their lives are sometimes way more stressful than mine.
It is great to have just a little godphone. To feel blessed by a whiff of presence when making offerings. To be strongly tied to my body in the world. To have little blessings that makes the invisible world around me feel friendly – leftover beer in the back of the cabinet, the front door ajar when I don’t have my key, a long red light that lets me catch a bus, a half a pack of cigarettes left on my front step.
To be devoted to a God who is nice. Just nice, as a really dominant chord. The devotees of the Gods of madness and frenzy and transformation may just not understand, but I am happy to add diversity to their world as they add diversity to mine. To have a path of devotion, as far as I can understand it today, that starts with its feet in texts and interpretation, and only rarely winds off into the mystical wilds.
I know there is work to be done, a lot of it – the world is changing and not for the better. When I watch the news (which I try not to – what is important to me and mine gets onto my radar without me looking for it) it is flat out scary. There is a culture to change, and ties to rebuild between humans and humans, and humans and the earth. I know I need to grow to meet that challenge, and I am, and will, and I have no idea where I will be in months or years. I try to take bites of all of that at a pace I can maintain. But when I pray to Odin I pray for peace. He feels like a God with ideas about where things ought to be going, and I have a lot of faith in many of His people. “Grant me as much peace as You can afford me,” I pray, “as much peace as I can afford.”