A life in threes

Tag: borrowing mundane faces

Month for Loki, Day 23: And…He’s wonderful.

He’s like fire and ice and rage.

He’s like the night, and the storm in the heart of the sun.

He’s ancient and forever.

He burns at the centre of time and he can see the turn of the universe.

And…He’s wonderful.”

    -Tim Latimer, about the Doctor

Doctor Who, BBC series

Season 3, Episode 9: The Family of Blood

Month for Loki, Day 10: Faces of Loki

It is late.

I’m thinking about sleep.

Or rather, I’m trying to meditate.

Sometimes, they seem to be one and the same somehow.  Both states seem to begin when my thoughts start to feel hazy and my body feels…strange.

At the end of a particularly trying day, I simply have to look up and let it go.

Sometimes I will imagine His warm hands upon my head.  Someone once told me that He comes to me when I am sleeping because that is the only time that I’ll let my guard down completely.  Perhaps I am more open then.

Sometimes I decide that I must stop thinking about how the pillows are so soft and inviting;  how my head just sinks into them.

Truly, my favorite part of the day is resting with my head on those pillows and looking toward the altar by my bed, trying visualize His face, or admiring His handsome face with that wry smile, stitches and all, as depicted in the artwork on my altar.

Sometimes when I’m drifting off, I’ll see Him in my mind’s eye for a few moments.

Sometimes He’ll look like Viggo Mortensen, but with long red hair.

Sometimes, His hair is short and He looks like a cartoonish version of Himself with a simple face, bright green eyes, and impossibly red hair.

And still other times, He will look like someone I’d never expect – like Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, or Ryan Gosling – and will have dark brown or blonde hair.

Sometimes He’ll even look like what one would imagine that a 11th century Viking warrior would look like – with a fur cloak and an embroidered shirt, leather britches and simple boots tied round with narrow strips of leather.  He’ll have braids in His hair and beard, and He’ll be wearing an arm ring and a dagger in His belt.

He is funny that way: He never looks like I would expect at the time.


But more often than not, I will just feel Him – light touches on my head, or on the side of my face, on the back of my neck, or on my tattoos.  I will sense the heaviness of His presence, or the surrounding air will feel charged with electricity.

Sometimes I will whisper to Him aloud, though most of the time, I will simply think inwardly what I am going to say.

Often, I fall asleep, chanting my words.

Sometimes I will call Him Beloved.

(Because He is.)

I will tell Him about my day, or I will simply ask that I would dream of Him, even though I rarely remember my dreams – so I’m not certain if or how often He has obliged me.

A connection.

Here’s the end of November, and as you may know, most of the time that I tried to write about Odin, the posts…got eaten by the interwebz.

Except for maybe, two.

Was it inevitable?  Probably.

But, I have to write about this before the end of November; before I forget.

You know, I meant to write about this the other day (Monday, November 19th) because I went to a concert at the House of Blues with my oldest kid.

It was a metal show, by the way, because we share a love for metal music, my oldest son and I.

Lamb of God was the main show, along with Hatebreed and In Flames.  The opener was an excellent band named…Sylopsis <–(something like that.  I hate to think that I can’t remember the opener band’s name exactly, but they were not listed on the bill.  That is so sad, because they were quite good.)

Now, how does this relate to Odin?  Well, others may disagree, but I’ll tell you this.   Almost as soon as I started really researching the lore — and that would be about two or three years ago — I had a lot of metal on my iPod, Lamb of God included.

And I’ve no doubt that the gods can and do try to get through to us through such ordinary channels as the music that we listen to.

Or at least, in my case, I do know that the first time that I ever heard Lamb of God’s Descending, all I could think of was… Odin.

The drums, the wavering, dark thrumming of the opening notes that launches into the lyrics sung in low, almost guttural voice, conjuring up imagery in my mind of one being bound and hung by knowledge…someone seeking what has been lost…

The visual began as a dark and powerful one, a vision of a man who hung from a great height, his arms extended, hands scrabbling for something that lay broken in pieces below him, just out of his reach.

He struggles to remain conscious, to make sense of the dizzying vision of those pieces, and I see his fingers straining to gather them up… because to touch them, to hold them in his hands would be to begin to understand them…

And this song seemed to play over and over on my iPod, almost intrusively, throughout those days.

Descending became an almost unshakeable ear-worm for me.

Hearing that song could call up the wind and the darkest clouds to surround me and haunt me and my thoughts on the sunniest day.

It was the most unsettling song, always stopping me in my tracks, and yet I would never think to click the shuffle tab to get past it every time it came up.

But anyway, that song is by Lamb of God.  A groove/thrash/dark/new metal band from Richmond, VA.  They’ve been around since 1990 or so.

And, while Descending isn’t the only song that I like by LoG — there are several more that I had become familiar with before it — Descending has become the one song that I have always, undoubtly associated with He Who  hung from the tree for nine days; He Who sacrificed Himself to Himself for wisdom and won the runes.

But sadly, I knew that Lamb of God wasn’t going to play Descending on Monday night.  Even if I’d heard that they hardly ever play it, I secretly hoped that they would.

They played other songs, of course – Walk with me in Hell, Now You’ve Got Something to Die for, Omerta, Black Label — and the crowd was a rollicking, energetic mosh pit from the front of the stage all the way back to the stairs, and my oldest son, his friends, and I, were within that mass of rough, human energy and movement for a good long hour and a half.

But I had another surprise — and it was an interesting one I might add — in lieu of hearing Descending, I noticed their bassist, instead:

This is John Campbell, bassist, and one of the original members of Lamb of God.

Doesn’t he kind of remind you of Someone?

(Gandalf, maybe? <–as my oldest son said.)

Or perhaps, the One whom Tolkien based Gandalf the Grey upon — which is actually the Old Man/ Wanderer himself.