A piece of Work came to my attention recently. It seemed so simple – make something, give it to person, explain it, and that was all. So I’ve made the piece, charged it, and made an attempt to deliver it. That attempt taught me a very important lesson.
Not every piece of Work I get will be from Cernunnos.
I’ve mentioned the other diners at the table before, and of late, I’ve been forgetting about Them in my devotions to Him. I ascribed this piece of Work to Him, and it isn’t His.
I’ve already discussed what happens when I blame Him for things, but that’s not the point of this one. The point is, once again, negotiation. During all of this, negotiation was once again brought up. Yes, I can negotiate with Him. I can negotiate with Danu and my Siblings, with Ganesha and my Redwing. But the one spirit in my life with whom I cannot negotiate is the Kahina.
Because, you see, this work is Hers. It should have been obvious. Most of my Work is crafty in nature; a lot of it involves symbols from Her culture. This was one of those, and while Cernunnos has assigned me Work with those symbols before, it is always after She gives me the order first. But I miscommunicated, guessed wrong, and caused myself and O/others a lot of frustration for it. And She, in her surprising patience, has not berated me for it yet.
So what does all of this meandering talk have to do with negotiation?
In mundane relationships, there are some people with whom you do not try to negotiate. You can negotiate with partners; you can negotiate with siblings; you can even sometimes negotiate with parents and teachers. But who in our families do we never try to negotiate with? Our grandparents. I never did. I know very few people who have. There’s something about Grandma and Grandpa, especially when they’re of certain backgrounds. I’ve never heard anyone from the Mediterranean say anything about their elders – especially Grandma – that didn’t include the phrase, “And you didn’t mess with her.” The Kahina is a Mediterranean ancestor, mine by marriage, a wise woman brought up in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in a small village. Kit’s family is notoriously long-lived, and Her presence in my life is that of an old woman, one who has seen and done and lived and would readily hit you with a wooden spoon if you pulled a stupid move.
I didn’t negotiate with my grandparents. And I don’t try to negotiate with the Kahina.
When She gives me a task, I do it. It doesn’t matter how long it takes me to do it; as Kit reminded me recently, time is very fluid for his culture. (Try getting Berbers to show up on time for something. Bet you can’t.) But things do get done, even if it takes months or years, and getting it done right is the point. So the rush to deliver this one? Not necessary. The time will come. But it has to get done. There is no argument to that. The Kahina will brook none, and I will not offer any. Because you don’t argue with Grandma.
Side silly thought: How many people knew their grandparents’ names as a child? I didn’t have a name for the Kahina until just recently; she was simply the wise-woman. Same for my grandmothers. Odd thought. And no, that was never a bargaining chip, because who bargains with Grandma? Not me.