As the calendar crumbles.

It’s [finally] coming up towards the end of the year and I’m really looking forward to it. 2013 has had a lot of ups and a LOT of downs and I’m anxious to at least change the calendar on the wall, if not close the book on everything that happened. I’m not innocent enough to believe that changing the date will leave everything that has transpired in the past 365 days in the dust, but sometimes a tangible change that is recognized by more than just oneself is powerful mojo.

I thought about what I wanted to write about as the calendar year rolls to a close and I came up with all sorts of lists of things that have happened and things I have accomplished and lessons I have learned and all sorts of nonsense that looks nice, but doesn’t carry a visceral gut feeling for me. When I was laying in bed after talking with/to my Father tonight, I started thinking about experiences and how they felt at the time. In remembering them, I got that very human feeling of…feeling. Memories are very crunchy and fleshy for me and, in the spirit of communicating what my year was like, here are a few that are particularly bloody for me.

Standing in the shadows on the barely-lit path, I am a tool that lends itself to the stripping away of all that each seeker holds dear as they follow in Inanna’s footsteps. I hold His knife in my right hand and my intent is not gentle. Each seeker must earn their way down the path and the way past me is to be cut open and stripped of what makes them male, female, or otherwise. Something about that shakes awake a predatory serpent within me and it uncoils and draws itself upright. It’s hungry and, in turn, I am hungry. I want to eat what I rip from those who shed their clothes in front of me, but it’s not mine and must be returned to them when they either ascend after the completion of their ordeal, or turn from the path before it winds to the inevitable end. There is a touch of perverse mirth in all of this, at least to me. He sits in the chair that intended to rest in between each seeker and He watches me. In the moment, I have no real grasp of why He is there but it makes me smile regardless and particularly so when I want to sit down. Am I to sit in His lap and muss His suit?

The weight of His displeasure is unpleasant to bear. It’s not a smack in the face—that might be easier to deal with—but it is there and it is sour and unpalatable. The feel of His gaze, in this moment, is uncomfortable and it is quite clear that He is deeply disappointed in this evening’s display of ego, self-aggrandizement, and general lack of worldview. I know immediately that there are consequences assigned to this lack of anything attractive and I sigh and pull my proverbial crap together. Falling apart really isn’t an option and I’m not feeling terribly emotional, at least beyond being disappointed in myself and agreeing with Him that I have been absolutely insufferable.

The choice has to be made and I am the only one who can make it. I already know that His patience runs deeper than I can likely fathom and that I will not be let off the hook if I tap dance around this line in the sand. It’s going to be one way or the other—there is no middle ground and no option that lets me wiggle around for the benefit of remaining comfortable. It’s black or white, wet or dry, sun or moon. There is no gray, no damp, no twilight and there won’t be no matter what. When I finally say the words, to myself and to those I’ve been sorting this out with, I am filled with relief. Making the decision is leaving the burden behind. Now that I’ve committed, I can clearly see how it benefits me. The message is delivered to His desk, but it’s also etched upon my heart for me to trace over with my fingertips when I’m unsure. I have a light bulb moment regarding how deeply He has wound Himself into my heart and I am overwhelmed with gratitude and the peculiar sort of love that is reserved only for Him.

I can’t chop vegetables quickly enough and the kamut is taking forever to cook. As I dash across my kitchen and into my bedroom where I have set up Her shrine, I realize that I must look like a hot mess. It doesn’t matter right now, though, because She’s waiting and watching and I can feel Her breath on my neck. When I used to wait tables, the managers used to spout off about operating with a sense of urgency to communicate to guests that they were important. I never really grasped what that meant, as I was only in control of how quickly the orders got dialed into the computer and how congenial I was towards those at my table, but now, with platters of food sitting in front of Her veiled shrine and a play list of African drumming queued up at Her request and a damn big Lionness effectively pacing around me, I get it. Boy, do I get it.

I carefully write the client’s address in red Sharpie in the ‘to’ field and then seal the box with more layers of packing tape than likely are necessary. Inside is a small bottle of oil sealed in a ziplock bag and cradled in packing peanuts. I pray over it briefly, asking that it gets to the buyer safely and in a timely fashion and that the oil serves what purpose they wish it to. With this sale, the tiny little conjure and occult shop that could has cracked $100 of sales off of one item. I am ridiculously proud of myself for yanking this off the ground and making it a reality with my own two hands.

As the words of the priye flow around me in a language that I have no knowledge of, I can feel the hair follicles on the back of my head prickle to life and there is pressure on the energetic port that lives just under the swell of my skull. The general doorbell is being wrung and, in this moment, it is terrifying. I am a first time guest at the manbo’s home and I know that I don’t have enough to control to completely shut the door on Whomever it is if They keep knocking. I don’t know what the priye is doing, but I know that this isn’t even the main event, as it were, and it would look awfully odd for someone who just showed up with a smile and some cigars to suddenly be taken. I pray like I am on the Titanic and the cold water is rushing around my ankles. I reach out to all my Powers and ask that, if I am to be used in such a manner this evening, it happens when it won’t be disruptive and I won’t be affecting the experiences of the other attendees in a negative fashion. In that moment, I feel like I am grist for the mill and that I am about to get chewed up.

I am more exhausted than I can ever remember being before in my life. I kept nodding off while I was on duty at work last night and, once I was off duty, I slept fitfully on the couch until my alarm woke me up and I gave the incoming shift the rundown of the past eight hours. I feel like I am speaking another language to my doctor, who looks at me like I am an alien, and I don’t know any better words to explain to her that my life is falling apart around me because I am sick all the time now. I ask her for options and she suggests that I go on short-term disability from my job and that I withdraw from school. For the first time ever, I cry in front of a medical professional because neither of those things are an option and neither of them will solve the problem. She and the two residents look incredibly uncomfortable and I leave the office with another round of tests scheduled and a referral to another specialist.

What an awful day. What an awful weekend. I just want to curl up in my bed and never come out. I’ve cried for most of the day. I cried when I got home from work this morning [and at work last night], cried before I went to sleep, woke up and cried, cried instead of getting dressed, cried while getting dressed, cried in the car while heading to the botanica, cried on the way back from the botanica, cried in the parking lot of the Stop & Shop, cried in my drive way, cried on my way into my room, and cried while I threw myself down in front of His altar and begged Him to talk to me. I cried when I chatted with W., too, and cried at the computer before coming to work. I’ve almost cried while here at work but so far, so good. I’m so tired in general and tired from crying that I am having trouble staying awake. It feels so good to close my eyes and just blank out for a bit.

I talk to Him because I know He hears me. I tell Him about what I’m going to do in the next 24 hours and I tell Him why. I don’t feel a need to justify this decision, as I know without a doubt that it is the right decision, but I tell Him because I want Him to hear that I thought this through and that, even though there could be potentially unpleasant side effects, this is what I both want and need. It is a solemn conversation and there is a lot of heartache in my words. I wish things were different, but they aren’t, and I can’t watch the wheels continue to fall off this thing over and over and over. I know that it is very likely He has been waiting for this and that it is overdue, but I am nothing if not slow in my decision-making process. In this instance, it’s a fault and I wish I hadn’t allowed it to affect me in such significant ways. Did I learn something? Yes, I did learn something; several somethings, actually. If I can hold onto those somethings, the heartache will not be in vain.

I look at my to-do lists and my reading lists and the notes for all the projects I want and need to do and I am absolutely one hundred percent excited. There really isn’t another word that I could assign to the deep sense of pleasure that bubbles up when I see all that lays before me. Yes, I am busy. Yes, I am consistently up against it financially. Yes, I am stressed about school and my living situation and the fact that my car needs work and that Giftmas is coming and that the sink is full of dishes that I am too exhausted to deal with. However, I will take having a full calendar and no money and a pile of worries if it means that I can continue to foster this sense of purpose that I have deep in my belly. I have a reason to be alive and, before They swept me up almost eight years ago, that didn’t exist and I was a shell of a person who often wondered why they continued to draw breath. That alone sends up a deep rumble of gratitude that has me put my head in my hands because it seems too big to fully grasp.

As I get ready to tear this calendar up and use it for kindling, I am in awe of how this past year has transformed my life. I, the dude who will happily explain everything in his life away until it is devoid of any mystical or spiritual meaning, cannot deny that They have been at work with and on me this year and that it has been a stunning ride. I have no idea what is coming next, but I can’t wait to see.

May the New Year bring you prosperity, wealth of heart and spirit, and the knowledge and skills to make what changes benefit you most. May the candle light your way, may your beloved Dead bless your feet, and may your Powers hold you close. So be it.

~ by Alex on December 21, 2013.

2 Responses to “As the calendar crumbles.”

  1. Best wishes for a good new year to you.

  2. […] wrote a brief retrospective on the past year last week, but it’s really time to get in gear as the calendar is changing this week for the New Year. […]

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