Just follow the red light.

‘Remember who you are’. The words crept from the back of my head in a voice that was decidedly not mine. The words of my Father are like the arid breeze coming off a sand desert and they gnaw at me because I know what He means.

‘You have been asleep with your eyes open.’

—-Excerpt from my private journal, 1/20/14

He said those things to me almost a week and a half after the initial…event? Happening? Realization? I was just starting to internalize exactly how He had blown open my world and those words didn’t cause any further sort of explosion, but merely provided a bit more clarity and a lot of reassurance to what had already been laid bare.

It started when I had the chance to read Caer’s entry on finding your Center just before she posted it. It pinged something in the back of my head when I read it and I knew it was important, but I couldn’t fully conceptualize why for myself. I went back and read it again after she posted it and the ping got a little louder. She explained in words I could understand a lot of what Eleggua [and, in a perpendicular manner, the Mister] has asked of me in that I need to find what my Center is and define the parameters of myself. The ping got REALLY loud at the part about stepping out of your Center and into other Centers as needed and that made sense to me, as some of my Work involves being able to move along the cosmic slide ruler of roles and identities. Can’t do that unless I am firmly aware of my own Center.

I sat with that and was okay with it. I didn’t believe I had the whole story or explanation because I never do, but I was comfortable with the idea that this was the work I needed to do. I did my best to ignore the empty ring that it had—sort of like a bell made of dented tin versus a balanced bell with a weighted clapper cast in copper. It had sort of a vapid feel to it, but I was confident that I could find meaning as I started to dig into what my Center meant for me.

The next day was Monday, Eleggua’s day, and I had begun a difficult self-portrait that evening before going to work. The central part of the piece involves a nude study of my body and it was very hard to draw for a lot of personal reasons. It was inspired by a Frida Kahlo self-portrait where she drew herself surrounded by things that held importance to her and, when I got to work, I set to drawing things that were meaningful to me. I got two things in—an assortment of the pills I have taken over the last ten years that have kept me functional, and the Mister’s padlock.

I sat there trying to think of what else I could include—what things were about me and me alone without involving other people or being a product of my interactions with other people in various communities?

I had this moment of horror where I couldn’t name anything that was mine and was internal to me. I sat there and stared at my sketchbook and I could practically smell the blood in the water at that point. As I said somewhere else I got the point, but we weren’t stopping at the point. The whole blade was going in. In about thirty seconds, my understanding of myself got ripped to shreds and I was left there staring at a self portrait that I instantly hated and didn’t want to work on.

I wasn’t really upset or angry, which I would have been a few years back, but more just sad and anguished, I think. I have only cried at work one other time before and that involved someone else.

For a few days, I was the walking wounded. Or, rather, I was the walking just-had-his-understanding-of-who-he-is-ripped-open. I was just existing and trying to make sense of just what in the fuck my Father had done. I didn’t really talk to anybody about it because I couldn’t even find words. I had trouble journaling about it, and I never have trouble writing for myself—things just spill out—but I think I was afraid of things spilling out.

I came the perversely amusing realization that the Mister and my Father had been scheming on this for awhile, as this ripping open perfectly fit a rather sizable task the Mister laid in front of me some months ago. I would like to say that my reaction was graceful and grateful, but it is more accurately summed up as ‘you Motherfuckers’. It wasn’t funny at the moment, but it sure is funny now.

When my head cleared a bit, I had a Moment. That moment was me remembering the last time I went through a divinely inspired period of destruction. It happened just about six and a half years ago and it left me jobless and unable to work, nearly homeless, very crazy, and stripped of everything that I had previously held close to my heart. It took about a year and a half to claw my way back to being able to earn some kind of income and quite a bit longer to truly stabilize my mental health. I never got back some of what was stripped from me, but, in retrospect, it wasn’t helping and instead was holding me back. When I sat there and thought about that, two things occurred to me: I was grateful beyond reason that the initial ripping of the band-aid was done quickly and that I had been through something similar before and survived to tell the tale, so I could certainly make my way through this in one fashion or another. That definitely shored up my feelings of my life circling the drain and it helped yank me from my cavern of overwhelmed anxiety.

I sort of puzzled through things, though, and came up with a vague game plan that carried me through the past few weeks. I decided to do exactly what Caer’s blog post detailed—practice self-awareness, journal everything, up my daily meditation time, and start actively tracking my dreams again. The biggest thing has been the self-awareness piece and it has been paying off in spades, really.

I have essentially stopped doing anything I don’t want to do, within reason. I still have to go to work and school, still have to pay the bills, and still have to do dishes, but I’ve pretty much cut out anything that I have been doing out of obligation and not desire. I canceled on going to a big sex/play party because I wasn’t in the right headspace post-ripping and because I just didn’t wanna. I have adjusted my appearance in ways that make me feel good, namely recognizing the liminality of my masculinity and wearing clothes that reflect that and grooming myself in ways that display that. My gay boy roommate says my eye make-up has been looking pretty fierce, so I think I’m doing alright in that department. There’s probably a whole blog post in there about being masculine in ways that look feminine.

True to His word and reputation, Eleggua is accepting no excuses or other explanations of why <thing> won’t or hasn’t happened. There has been no ‘or else’ attached to any of this—it’s been ‘swim, or I will drag you behind My speedboat until you learn to stop swallowing water and to kick your feet’. There is no touch of anger or punishment or anything in this, but more of ‘now is the time to get this done, and it must be and WILL BE done’.

I feel a lot more grounded, though, since I got through the ‘well, shit’ period. I no longer feel like I’ve been tasked to climb Mount Everest armed only with a plastic spork, a pair of jail-issue flip flops, and the latest copy of GQ. I’m actually pretty thrilled that I get this chance to reflect on what resides inside, rather than focusing on the external aspects of my identity. I owe my Father a thousand child-to-Parent kisses and a few good cigars. I’m also in the process of making some jewelry for Him as well.

Not to be outdone, the Mister blessed me with a moment of stunningly accurate clarity when I started to ask myself how this blowing open of my Self fit in with my relationship with Him. He takes my breath away on a regular basis. I’m in an interesting place of trying to suss out if there are other devotional activities or offerings He would like from me that I am not currently giving Him, but when I figure it out, He’s getting a lot of whatever it is. It is so interesting to be in love with Someone so much, yet have it not be a romantic sort of love in the least.

I have no idea what I’m going to do with the self-portrait that started all of this. For a few days, I couldn’t even look at it. I can’t decide if it’s done as-is, with not much more than my body and pills and the Mister, or if it still needs to be worked on. I know it’s not a representation of the end of this cycle, but only the starting point. We’ll see, I guess.

Things are incredibly busy and complex otherwise. The new semester just started, I’m planning to move within the next two months, I’m running my first public ritual soon, and I’m skating by the skin of my teeth financially. I’ve got three book projects cooking and a bunch of things I need to get to, as well as a lot of art to make. I have quite a few blog posts lined up and I like them! Life is full and I’m in this bizarre place of being over-the-moon grateful and excited that this is the life that I have been so blessed and lucky to both deserve and earn, even in the face of this massive upheaval. Life is difficult and challenging, but I am so ridiculously happy.

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~ by Alex on January 27, 2014.

One Response to “Just follow the red light.”

  1. This would be a really good thing to do for my shadow work practice one day. Hmmm. Thank you for sharing!

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