The Strange Betwixt

I’ve been writing more poetry lately, after having sorted through loads of papers lying about and mining old journals to make some sense of them. I decided to put all of my poems in one book, that way I can always find them. I realized there is, indeed, almost a full book’s worth already, and I know there are loads of poems I’ve written that I have no idea where they are kept. Journaling has been harder and less poetic. I feel in this strange betwixt place that is curious, beautiful, annoying, frustrating, joyous and sad. My world seems to be bleeding into more of a web of thick nap that clings and becomes entangled with all things, making it harder to discern between things, ideas, feelings. They seem to all be facets of each other. It’s been difficult to work within certain parameters because now those parameters are not hard and fast but fluid and slippery. I always thought that when I came to this place, things would be more clear, but it has made life much more convoluted, like oil-marbled paper.

My altar practice has become quite strong, and I reconfigured my elemental altar and have been blessing that each day, in addition to my ancestral/spirit altar. At first, the reconfiguration felt very strange and wrong, but for some reason, it’s been easier for me to come speak to it now. I rearranged it to reflect the Celtic directional correspondences (saying what you will about the “rules” of such things, which in my perspective are merely guidelines and I view most rules as questionable at best). I’m starting to come to terms with my anarchistic view of spiritual paradigms, and though I respect the use of words, terminology, lore and images to try to pin down certain concepts, I know more and more that these are but passing snapshots of a picture that is constantly in creative motion. New things are born all the time, being woven quietly into the weave without our approval or knowledge, and for simple humans to claim to know anything, really, is in my eyes just extremely naive. We are but ants to the bigger picture, and yet even ants, even bacteria, help to make that picture. All pieces need to be present and part of the moving puzzle.

This all brings it home to me how much what I do, say and think matters to the whole. If I harbor villainous, hateful thoughts, it pollutes all waters. If I bring my open, loving and joyful, creative spirit and heart to bear, it helps make clean and nourishing waters. I am responsible only for my part of the waterway, for I can only nourish my own thoughts, my own self. Supporting others is different than thinking or doing for them. Nor do I have any desire to tell or direct others what to think, feel or say. That is up to them. Contrary to how this sounds, I do not think that one must “think clean thoughts”(in a moralistic sense) at all times. I actually think we are at once clean and dirty, holy and in pieces, reverent and irreverent, sacred and profane, and that it is precisely these juxtapositions that we can dance with and straddle to make up a wonderful balance, and that is IS the dance we dance with them that cleans the waters. I have been challenged by one of my teachers in this regard as they seem to have a different viewpoint than this, and I’ve been chewing on this disagreement for some days now to fully understand what it is that I believe about such things. And I still come back to the dance. I do not believe in putting such concepts into human-constructed boxes, because that is a world of limitation, of dogma, or saying with a certainty that we do not posses that things are “like this” and “not like that” and that stating such things is merely another way the mind creates a comfortable box of rules to live within. I just don’t see the world that way at all. And in exploring this, I feel the need to let go of the need to be in agreement with this idea. Detaching from outcomes and from the need for approval or agreement is part of my learning.

Labels have their use, yes, because we are in a body of limitation. The human experience is one of limitation, discomfort, constant shifting to adjust to different types of limits. We are born babies and continually need to grow and shift within the confines of our bodies and its abilities. But we are bigger than our human selves. We are more than our body, more than our psyches, more than our egos, more than minds. Our souls know this, and they swim in that dark, chaotic limitless abyss all the time, which is what our fears of death constantly whisper to us in the night. “One day, you will be annihilated” or “One day, your body that you believe is you but merely a temporary house for your consciousness, will cease to exist.” But it isn’t just “one day”, as we seem to understand instinctively that we are dying all the time. Always changing, always shedding old skins, ever making our way to the next death. Being part of that silent and invisible weave whispers that deep inside us: you are here, and you are not here. Time is a fluid and slippery beast.

 

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