bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Month: June, 2016

Pertinent, but possibly not current.

I suppose that I should point out that I did do a little personal ritual last night.  As described in a friend’s post, I asked Loki to come to me in whatever face that He chose.

I promised that I wouldn’t question it, and I promised that I wouldn’t dispute it, so here I am on what was delivered.

I have been told that I am with-holding.  I am told that I refuse to be generous.

I find the most profound insult in being labeled selfish, in being considered self-centered.

I don’t like to be selfish, and I balk at being called self-centered, but sometimes I am.

Madness is a kind of selfishness.  Madness has a certain air of self-centeredness.

Or at least, it does for me.

I went insane in 1997.  I think that I may have always been, but I received a diagnosis of Bipolar Axis I – later changed to Bipolar Axis II – in 1997.  The axis never mattered to me because what followed that diagnosis was an intense 3 years of self-examination in my life, broken into 50 minute hours that occurred three, sometimes four times a week.

And I hated every minute of it.  Therapy felt like a terrifying exposure in front of a stranger -an educated stranger whom I was paying to stand emotionally naked in front of  – a session with an inquisitor for no reason but to punish and perpetuate the theory that I needed to learn how to fit in with a world that I didn’t fit into, that I never fit into.  I had to learn how to deal with others, but mostly, it felt like I was learning to sublimate myself.

It’s funny when I consider that I felt more feeling in my madness than I did in the 26 years that I had lived up to that point.

I suppose that I would have been considered mad as a child too, always being told how strange I was, how bad I was, how I had failed to be what was expected.  There was definitely a disorder to my life, to my thinking – even if no one was calling it bipolar back then – that’s what I felt was reality.  The struggle to not be ‘disordered’, to not be separate.

To this day, I still feel separate.  It is still a struggle at times to convince myself that if I am myself, if I show others who I really am, I can still be loved.

I’ve no doubt that my husband thinks that I am mad, crazy, out of my mind.  But I believe that there are concessions that he’s willing to make until he gets tired of making them.  But, to take a page from my madness, it is likely me who will tire of making concessions first.  When we get tired of making concessions for each other, we’ve told each other, we have promised to move along.  We have promised to separate.

But I am nothing if not determined.  Some would call that loyal.

I know that we will separate someday.  I know that I will be alone.

Because we live as we die – alone.

It is interesting to consider that concept now that I’ve written it there.  Did I ever believe that?  Do I believe that now?

Because, even as a child, I felt that no one should be alone in death.  I used to wander around the most decrepit sections of New England cemeteries, inwardly noting dates and reading the names of those longest dead.  Sometimes I would simply recite their names aloud, but mostly, I would whisper greetings to them, because it hurt me to think that they may have been forgotten.  As far back as I can recall, I thought it the worst of all to be a person that had been forgotten, who had been ignored, simply because time had passed.

While it might be hardly surprising that I am estranged from my family today, I  imagine that it could also be people that I was a little girl that was feeling somewhat forgotten, possibly even ignored by those who claimed to love me, albeit often dysfunctionally.

I have trust issues.  I have abandonment issues.  And the madness that grows from the pit of my soul was screaming to be seen:

See me! Hear me!   My emotions were a whirlwind, a storm that had been brewing for a long, long time.  My anger was a beast in chains that was demanding for release.  This is why the story of Fenrir appealed to that part of me.

There was nothing wrong with Fenrir; He is what He is.  There isn’t any shame in what He represents.  He is Madness.  He is emotion unchecked, hunger unfulfilled, the forces of Nature out of control.   He is Nature itself, the nature of all that we attempt to control.

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Dancing.

A Facebook friend posted this video in my feed today:

And it triggered a lovely memory that I have that is related to this song.

~~~

In April 2015, I went to small weekend-long Pagan sexuality event called Body Magick.

Though I attended by myself, I quickly got the impression that this event was geared towards couples.

I was one of only three other ‘singles’ that attended that weekend.

One of these singles – an older man named Kevin – left before the end of the first day when it became clear to him that Body Magick was not a ‘kinky poly swingers’ event that he’d been assuming that it would be.  (I think the event organizers were somewhat relieved that he left on his own, as his attitude that colored the ‘first impression’ that he made during the introductory circle rubbed several folks in all the wrong ways.)

The other single – a young woman – seemed guarded and cautious.  Though we did converse several times — simply for the fact that we were likely the only attendees with insomnia in the campsite who weren’t actively entertaining/engaging a partner in the late hours of Friday night into the wee hours of Saturday morning – I didn’t find out that much about her.  She told me how she had recently experienced a rather lengthy and contentious divorce, and she sought to attend the event  simply to recover herself and get back her spiritual bearings.

And then, there was me.  Alone, and perhaps a bit lonely.  (My husband – a non-Pagan – had chosen to stay home that weekend, and he had some prior work commitments, as well.)

~~~

But I must say – even though everyone I came in contact with was friendly, the event rituals were well-done, and the energy flow was welcoming and pleasant – I could not shake that dull achy feeling of being at loose ends throughout my weekend at Body Magick.

~~~

So there I was, on Sunday morning, sitting in a lawn chair outside the ‘mess hall’ with a belly full of breakfast pancakes, listening to music on my iPhone.

My earbuds had somehow become damaged, so I decided to listen to my Loki playlist on low volume, as I waited for my husband to pick me up.

As he wasn’t set to arrive for over an hour, I felt like I had some time to kill, so I half-dozed/meditated in the overly-bright April sunlight, with my iPhone in my lap.

And then this song came on.

The song had played about halfway through when suddenly I was shaken out of my reverie by a friendly voice.

What is this song?  I love this song.

I opened my eyes, and I looked up to see a slight, older woman standing in front of me.  She was smiling.

The sun was behind her, so I was grateful for the shade she created.  I returned her smile.  I couldn’t help it.

It’s Walk the Moon, I replied.  It’s called, Shut up and Dance.

She laughed, Would you mind playing that from the beginning?

So I clicked back, and she settled down beside my chair, to listen.  Thank you so much, she whispered.

I watched as she closed her eyes, and she smiled broadly as she listened, her face upturned towards the sunlight.

Again, the song reached the half-way point, and another person – a young woman, her arms loaded with camping gear – walked past.  I guess she had been on the way to loading up her car.

Hey!  I know that song! she blurted out, stopping short in front of us.

She dropped her heavy gear-bags at my feet with satisfied sigh, as if relieved for the sudden excuse to take a break.

She turned toward the woman on the ground, nudging her.  Don’t you just love this song? she burbled.

The older woman opened one eye: Yes, she grinned broadly, looking up.  They knew each other, so the older woman stood up to greet her with a hug.

And the young woman, unburdened by her gear, warmly embraced her friend.

After a few moments, they broke from their embrace,  and the young woman started to sway.

Won’t you play it again, please, the young woman turned toward me, insistently, I feel like dancing!

OOh, dancing sounds like a great idea, the older women agreed.

So I did.

And I watched as they danced, the movement of their bodies mirroring each other.  I admired the ease and joy of their dance – they seemed entirely unself-conscious and comfortable in their bodies as they were taken up by the rhythms of the song.

Then, they began to sing.

They both looked at me.

Doesn’t this song just make you want to dance? they asked me, during the first instrumental bridge.

The older woman motioned towards me, welcoming me to join them.

I demurred, too shy to dance.

But I did sing along with them.

Suddenly, these two women dancing and our combined singing drew the attention of several other campers on the way to loading their cars.

Next thing you know, a loose half-circle had formed right there in front of me.

Soon enough there was a crowd of twenty or so happy people dancing, singing, enjoying this song, in a spontaneous swirl of swaying color, sound, movement…and laughter.

And I must have played that song four more times in its entirety before our impromptu dance party ended.

 

And I honestly believe that Loki was pleased.

 

 

 

 

 

 

of violent hands (a prayer)

Yes.
Yes.
So much yes.

“A life with gods is a life of violence. You will be dragged. You will stumble, fall and be felled. You will be whipped, marked, stolen. You will have things taken from you. You will have parts of you cut away – sometimes so softly that they dissolve like dust in the light…”

(link here)