bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Tag: apt metaphor

Month for Loki, 5: Knife-Thrower

This is such a beautiful description of – and quite possibly the most apt metaphor for – working with Loki that I have ever read.

From an excellent Tumblr blog – see, they do exist! — here is coldalbion’s reply to an anonymous question, “Do you have any advice on working with Loki?”

(from coldalbion.tumblr.com)

===

“Advice, anon…? Not per se. I do have something for you, which may help:

Ah. Loki.

Oh, Loki.

What to say here? Loki’s like a whirling dervish; an expert knife-thrower all shining steel and flame-flicker.

And you’re his assistant.

You may or may not be blindfolded at first, and sometimes that’s better, despite the fact that you can hear those knives whistling towards your head with deadly precision.

With the blindfold on, you can at least recall his charming smile, the wicked quirk of his scarred lips, sly and arch and smooth. How he led you there with honeyed words and soft touches; how the tales of wonder and excitement thrilled you, all bright colours and exotic new adventures. How he picked you up and, somehow, for some reason decided to give you the benefit of all of him – how he blazed with a kind of Light that had nothing to do with vision, and everything to do with existing without reference to anything else.

And the more time you felt his presence, the more you began to know that his darkness was like his Light, a thing in and of itself. The full sense of his presence illuminated you, made you feel like you were the only thing in the worlds. He took your pain and scars and ran himself along them with a kind of knowing, a sense of recognition that generates a seemingly ever-present resonance.

So it’s the most natural, thrilling thing in the world when he asks you to do something for him, to put on a special costume, take his hand and step into the ring for this little act he does, purely for fun.

Charmed, beguiled, feeling the pull of nerves, you do it. You listen to his patter, his introduction as you stand there in the spotlight, surrounded by a audience shrouded in darkness. You’re his glamourous assistant, the absolute necessity to his act.

He smiles at you as he blindfolds you, as he raises you up to the board. Your heart begins to race as he binds you, secures you tight so you can’t move. You’re helpless, waiting, praying.

When the first knife whistles through the air, you stiffen. The wind of its passing plays across your skin – the impact into the board is shockingly loud. You can’t help but gasp, the board vibrating with the force of that blow. You imagine the audience’s intake of breath, but you can’t hear it over the noise of the knives that suddenly seem to come in from all directions.

Again and again and again. When one buries itself scant millimeteres from your face, you realise that you can feel the cold of the metal against your cheek. You flinch, and realise that the buried blades surround you. Your body is ringed by steel. There is nowhere else to go.

The act must be over now, mustn’t it? Surely it must!

So why is it that you can hear more knives coming? What kind of insane game is this – is this madman actually trying to kill you?

You think back to what he told the audience – that you are an absolute necessity to his act. Is it possible he lured you under false pretences, that you are some kind of sacrificial animal, and that one of those knives will be your doom?

No wonder you might be afraid!

And when the blows come, you can feel the edges bite, sharp against your flesh. This is it. You’re going to die. What a fool you were to do this, to let this motherfucker lead you on.

But..wait a minute. You’re still here. Everything is suddenly silent, way too quiet. Heart hammering, you gingerly attempt to move, and, to your surprise, you realise that your bonds, after a moment of snagging, seem to have fallen away.

With trembling hands, you pull down the blindfold, and are momentarily blinded – the house lights have come up and you stumble away from the board a liittle. When your vision returns, you’re in for a shock.

Because there’s no-one there. The vast ranks of seats are empty. The audience have gone, even though you didn’t hear them leave. Maybe they were never even there to begin with…

Maybe you’re still bewildered when a voice tells you to Think fast! and you jump back as a knife suddenly comes out of nowhere and buries itself in the sawdust at your feet.

The unseen voice tells you to pick up the blade. Go on, just pick it up. So you do, and suddenly he steps out from behind the board with a little, courtly, mocking bow.

Turnabout is fair play, he drawls.

It’s your turn. Without thinking, the knife leaves your hand, aiming at his head. But he’s not there.

He’s behind you, lips against your ear, hand on your arm, guiding you through the arc of the throw. The knife hits the board, straight and true, in a way you’d never have known how to do before.

And then? Then he’s dancing and you have an endlesss supply of blades. He weaves and curves, eels and dives in ten thousand intricate movements; a shining, glittering impossibility. Without thinking, you fall into a rhythm, and later you realise the strangeness of this – for you and he are acting together in the space between heartbeats. You’re part of the same dance, the same ebb and flow and weave.

There’s no telling how long it goes on for, or why it stops. Maybe he becomes bored, or maybe you send steel singing so close that it leaves a line of blood along his cheekbone.

Who can tell? Because suddenly, the knives you throw are suddenly plucked from the air by nimble hands, and turned back on you. Lost in the rhythm, you struggle to evade the most lethal, but manage it. But you do not remain unscathed – your shining costume is cut from you swifter than lightning, until you stand naked and nicked in the sawdust.

Your nerves sing – the cuts are not deep, after all, but the endorphins are called into your blood, as surely as someone summoned an army. A single droplet of blood falls in slow motion, splashing on the shaved wood, blossoming and swelling and staining the ground of the ring.

When you look up again, he’s smiling, eyes sparkling with ancient wisdom and dark mirth. Not bad, he says. Let’s go again.

Steel sings and you feel the air move against your skin.

And you smile in return, and you move.

It’s time to dance.”

(Artwork: ‘Jester’ by MuYoung Kim)

jester

Month for Loki, Day 18: A Sort of Compersion

So, as you may know, I have been working on a ‘Keeping it 100 Project’ wherein I am trying to be more open about my life and practice these past few months – um, years! – and I’m pleased to say that it’s been going well enough.

And just as it had been with my ‘joy project’ – the world will open up to receive your joy – I have realized that people have been nothing but encouraging and supportive of me in this one of my latest endeavors.

As well, I’ve learned that I’ve nothing to lose except my fears.

This is not to say that I’ve become entirely fearless as of yet, but I am making great strides in letting go of some pretty heavy baggage associated with some of my most deeply embedded personal issues.

So, the other night, I was talking with a close friend of mine about the latest developments in my life and the positive changes that I have seen in my relationships.

Then we got to discussing some of the similarities inherent in our spiritual experiences, and she was expressing her wonder and joy at how nice it was to *finally* have someone (as well as several other people) with whom she can share her experiences.  Folks who would listen with an open mind, without judgment or rancor towards her struggles and who could celebrate the successes of walking her path.

Our paths are similar enough but rather than feeling a sense of competition or comparison with me or with others, she was casting about for a word to describe the supportive and encouraging sense of being accepted, supported and celebrated that she had been experiencing lately, that sense of flow between her and the members of her kindred.

She was saying that she finally felt that she’d found the members of her tribe.

And she felt the relief of finally being able to say

So I was telling her about a conceptual term that I had first learned of through polyamory(1) – and that is the concept of compersion.

Compersion can simply be defined as when you experience happiness when you witness another’s happiness.

While the term ‘compersion’ was originally meant to apply to situations associated exclusively with romantic relationships, in some cases, I think that sense of such deeply felt goodwill and supportive encouragement can also be applied to other relationships.

Why should compersion only be felt between lovers?

Why couldn’t such a profound sense of joy be mirrored between those within close friendships and even alliances between co-workers?

Compersion is not just superficial good wishes towards another’s success – it is a profoundly experienced sense of joy and contentment that is felt in tandem with another’s joy.

Compersion is a magnification of joy that flows outward.

Compersion is, in a lot of ways, the polar opposite of jealousy.

So we are feeling compersion when we bear witness to another’s joy, and we feel joy in response.

So that’s what I’m calling it from now on.

Spiritual compersion.

___

  1. pol·y·am·o·ry: noun; the philosophy or state of being in love or romantically involved with more than one person at the same time.

 

Pandoramancy: Lost.

There is nothing wrong, and yet I have been rather socially-avoidant today, just fumbling through the hours.

It happens.

But then a notification came through my email: an old acquaintance of mine wrote a post on zir blog little while ago, and damned if it didn’t give me a bittersweet feeling of nostalgia:

You see, I too, have had Him come to me as Peter Pan, and yet oddly enough, I was an adult – with adult responsibilities such as a job, bills to pay, and a child of my own – so I didn’t understand the meaning of His usage of that particular face during His visitation at that time.

And yet…

I believe that it was a sign, a marker of sorts – meant to remind me of the part of me I hid, that part that I never really allowed to be- the part of me I’d chosen to tuck away from my everyday awareness.

Perhaps it is a cliche – the playful attitude, the sense of wonder – but I will not deny its importance.

I was a serious child with a vivid imagination and if anything, I’d always thought someday, I would come back to that part, I would allow myself one day…

To remember the boy who waited at the edge of those bad dreams…

The young man who lived in the woods

whose face I drew incessantly

whom I was half in love with

before I even could have known what love was.

As He was – and yet He was not – Peter Pan, but it was not until I realized much later that the face of Peter Pan was a convenient and rather apt metaphor for what I had pushed away from myself.

Come find Me, He said.

You know where.

Month for Loki, Third: Offerings of Joy.

“Come sit with me! Let us drink the holy wine of happiness.”

-Rumi

 

Today, a Lokean acquaintance of mine wrote of how she had recently been sitting by a fire outdoors, thinking of Loki, when she’d suddenly felt the urge to dance, so she asked if dancing would be an appropriate offering for Loki.

I responded that dancing would definitely serve as a fine offering for Loki.

Loki loves receiving offerings of joy from His devotees – dancing, singing, playing, creating…

Another group member joined the conversation to point out that most Gods – not just Loki in particular – would accept any offering made in the spirit of joy.

I would have to agree, as the concept of offering our Gods our joy got me to thinking of my own experiences with Loki.

I believe that Loki is a God particularly attracted to intensity.  And what are Gods but energetic beings?  Therefore, I believe Loki is drawn to the expression of a wide range of energies, and how energy manifests in humans is often expressed through emotions.

And joy, like grief and rage, is an emotion associated with intense levels of energy.

Or to put it another way, in my experience, Loki’s level of voracious energetic hunger is quite similar to that of His son, Fenrir.

Loki will accept offerings of pain, rage and sadness if one chooses to offer these emotions to Him.  While Loki has certainly experienced His share of these intense emotional energies, I have experienced Him as equally voracious for joy and merriment.

He will feast upon joy and laughter and passion just as readily.

And so, in this Month for Loki, I urge you to invite Loki to your table.

Invite Him to share in the feast of your delight, your contentment, your joy.

He will partake of your joys just as heartily and make a glutton of Himself just as readily on your laughter and happiness.

Be generous with the wine of your thanks, and allow Him to drink His fill of that holy wine.

I promise, you won’t regret it.

~~~

Hail Loki, Honored Guest!

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry: I need…a red dress.

BY KIM ADDONIZIO

I want a red dress.

I want it flimsy and cheap,

I want it too tight, I want to wear it

until someone tears it off me.

I want it sleeveless and backless,

this dress, so no one has to guess

what’s underneath. I want to walk down

the street past Thrifty’s and the hardware store

with all those keys glittering in the window,

past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old

donuts in their café, past the Guerra brothers

slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly,

hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders.

I want to walk like I’m the only

woman on earth and I can have my pick.

I want that red dress bad.

I want it to confirm

your worst fears about me,

to show you how little I care about you

or anything except what

I want. When I find it, I’ll pull that garment

from its hanger like I’m choosing a body

to carry me into this world, through

the birth-cries and the love-cries too,

and I’ll wear it like bones, like skin,

it’ll be the goddamned

dress they bury me in.

(1954, from Tell Me)

I Am.

It’s been quite an emotional rollercoaster for me today.

  • Relationship issues.
  • Devotional issues.
  • Devotional relationship issues.  (Though in the interest of trying to remain positive hasn’t been all bad…it simply involves some work about which I’ve been hesitant to finish, and the overwhelming sense of being emotionally drained in doing it.)

Upside, I got a good walk in lovely cool weather.  Downside, getting caught in a torrential downpour and now I feel generally achy.

Upside, I did enjoy a lovely text conversation with a dear friend today, and it meant so much to me…you don’t even know 🙂  Downside, none 🙂

 

I think that this is an apt song for today.  Though its set in a minor key, the message strikes me as positive overall — which was so like the day itself: