The Law of Inertia

hqdefault

An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. – Newton’s first law of motion

I come home from the day job around 5:00 PM. I change clothes. I set my laptop up on the couch. Sometimes I grab a snack. I sit down, turn on the xBox, turn on my laptop, and get comfortable.

That is where I stay for most of the rest of the evening.

If we’re lucky, I get my butt up and cook sometime before Kit gets home, so that dinner is ready (or nearly there) when he walks in around 7:30. If we’re not, we sit around for a few minutes trying to determine where to go for dinner, and that’s not easy when half the restaurants nearby close at 8:30 or 9:00. We head to bed around 10:00, until my alarm rings around 5:30 AM.

Monday through Friday. Given the chance, I do the same with Saturday and Sunday. Notice anything missing? I do all the time, and the self-flagellation for not doing is part of what I’m running from. I silence thoughts and projects and Voices and emotions with food, Netflix, and games. You know, like most of the rest of the American population.

I know better. I know this. But it’s easy. It’s habit. I am at rest; I remain at rest.

When I do go into motion, I remain in motion until I fall down. Kit calls this “white tornado” time, and it stresses him out immensely because I’m really not a pleasant person while I do this. It’s another way of distracting myself; I know it, and it makes me worn out and cranky, but it keeps me from thinking about things.

DM has challenged me to sit with my thoughts. Sit with my feelings. Don’t distract. Don’t let blame and that pipe-like wall and noise and games get in the way. Be vulnerable. If I feel something, feel all of it – not just the anger, not just the blame, but what’s underneath it, too.

Be Open.

Sounds familiar.

Five years ago, middle-of-Ordeal familiar.

One year ago, middle-of-Journey, ripped-to-the-bones, Ol’ Beaky-stealing-my-core familiar.

It’s easy to submit to inertia, to habit, to the things to which one is accustomed. It’s the path of least resistance. I gravitate towards it. I think most people do. (Laziness is the mother of invention, after all.) Somewhere along the line, I gave up on the Work and gave in to habit.

Be Open.

Geebas, that’s hard.

Blame and Laughter

My Kit and I went to North Carolina over Thanksgiving weekend, in part to visit his sister (whose ashes we scattered into the ocean in Avon last November), and in part to have a real, actual, honest vacation. While we were there, we bought a couple of very pretty handmade bowls from a local potter.

We got home Sunday at 5:30. I brought the bowls in, still wrapped and in their paper bag, put it on the counter, and we went to get dinner. We came home at 8:00 to find our yearling cat, Tache, wearing a torn-paper-bag bib, and his older sister, Hatchy, catatonic.

Uh oh.

23915643_10215154236955295_2204959344671827518_n

Pottery + gravity+ ceramic tile floor = smash.

I was angry. I was disappointed. I got into the shower and started crying.

And blaming.

Look at what else you broke, the sock monkeys started to whisper. You knew he could reach the counter. You know he loves paper bags. That was careless. It’s your fault.

I spent the rest of the night rehashing everything I had caused to break over the years – the tajine, our first pizza stone, glasses from events. I spent it upset about money I had spent over the weekend/month/year that was silly, and could have been used better, and gone towards this vacation to make it better. And then I felt bad that I was stressing Kit out by my tailspin/meltdown/whateveryawannacallit.

Two hours later, three days of relaxation and rest were completely shot. I spent the next day in a fog, which was an utterly perfect way to prepare for my therapy appointment that evening, dontchaknow.

I described the incident and started to cry again. And my therapist (we’ll call him DM) started taking it apart. We got down to a core of something.

The bowls meant more to me than just things. They were something Kit really liked, something he had picked out, something we got together, for our home. They were a part of our first real vacation in years, if ever – most of our travel involves vending or festivals (many of which we have worked). I was disappointed. I was hurt. I was sorry that Kit had lost something else (considering everything else he’s lost over the years) before he even had a chance to enjoy them.

Instead of letting myself feel that, I turned automatically to blaming myself. It isn’t comfortable; it isn’t pleasant. But it’s familiar. It’s a barrier. It keeps me from thinking about the real, honest, vulnerable emotions behind why I’m upset, and redirects me into something I’m used to, something I use to shield myself from the actual feelings. Why I default to blame, I’m not sure. I don’t remember being blamed for a lot when I was a kid (except for food disappearing, which usually was my doing, because unhealthy food relationships run in the family). But it’s a thing. And it’s a thing I need to work on.

That’s kind of the core of this particular bit of Work. One of the reasons that I had to Ordeal in such an extreme way was to rip me open so I could feel and receive and be. One of the things I realize that Raven was trying to do last year, in taking my core, was try to open me back up.

I did not let it work. Hell, I didn’t even mourn for my old cat Minoush when she passed – after being my nutbar girl for eleven years – nearly as hard as I mourned for Belenos after only 8 months with us. I shut myself down even harder when she passed. I wasn’t letting myself feel anymore, because it all hurt too damn much.

The Wake Up Call ripped me wide open again. I’ve been feeling the walls trying to come back up since the pottery fell, feeling myself deflecting, and I’m having to work hard not to allow it. I’m not always succeeding, but being honest with DM is the first step. Being honest with myself is next. (That’s what he’s there to help me with, after all.)

An interesting side effect, though, is my laughter. I’m noticing that I’m laughing more at things. I’m laughing harder at things. I’m not just humming or giving off a light chuckle. There’s something more authentic to my laugh these days, something that’s been missing. Maybe it’s just me, but I hear something different, and I like what I’m noticing.

Genderbendery

Sir has been throwing ideas at me since I earned my collar.

You should take up bellydancing. Or burlesque. Try packing. Or hunting.

I’m still working on Raven’s Own, even expanding its show schedule a little this year and planning/doing a few more ambitious projects. Tafat n Kahina goes right along with it. I’m not allowed to give those up, and we can’t afford for me to give up my day job. And I can’t tell you how many projects I have to do around the house – fixing the septic lid, fixing the toilet, digging and planting the bee garden, building the food gardens, building the patio wall in the front. (Don’t misunderstand: Kitten does help and is really really good at what he knows, but he’s got a black thumb and isn’t really the handyman in this relationship. He is, however, the better cook.)

Oh, and mowing the lawn. Although I enjoy mowing, too.

You should teach a class. Maybe teach two classes. Hey, those clothes look good. Maybe you should mix music.

My dysthymia and social spoons have been in havoc for at least a year. But Sir keeps throwing ideas at me.

Go back to yoga. Pegging could be cool. Or kickboxing.

Throw enough ideas, Kitten says, and something is bound to stick.

Maybe drag kinging.

SPLAT.

Cue a 24-hour frenzy of research, YouTube videos, Pinterest pins, articles, supply resources, and even lip-sync playlists.

This is certainly not the first time it’s crossed my mind. I’ve considered packing for years. I have occasionally peeked at the DC Kings‘ website, and am now a bit pissed that I missed seeing them perform (the troupe retired in 2015 and left their website/social media up as resources and history, bless them). I’m rather content to be biologically female, but there is a part of me that craves a bit of genderfuckery. And Sir, for His part, has no objection to me doing so – in fact, would encourage it, especially as it would fit beautifully into my requirement of representing Him. He might even let me cut my hair for more than maintenance, for the first time in six years, if it’s for kinging purposes.

Oh, and spending several hours turned on at the thought of having a packer in place is no indicator at all. Because I need more projects/ideas/things to do/holes in my head. </sarcasm>

Featured image is of Landon Cider.

Early Riser.

Ain’t this your time of need?
You’re turning to the light
You have just begun to explore the dark
In the urban night

It’s been a long road. I have constantly, consistently allowed mundane things to interrupt spiritual things, including and especially my Service. A few Voices are making their way back into my life, pushing against the numbness. Raven is one, clacking His beak in my left ear since Twilight Covening. Mother Danu is another. Yesterday I think it was, I heard baby babbling on the side of my mind most occupied by Her and was confused.

The world is on fire
And you are here to stay and burn with me
A funeral pyre
And we are here to revel forevermore

She explained. The side of my mind most occupied by my Lover and Sir has been numb. I’m having a hard time Hearing because I’ve allowed life to close me down.

This morning that changed.

You’re so goddamn frail
Failing for a change
You just had to know all about the world
But you will never know
‘Cause no one ever told you how

The past few years, Sir has gone through the entire growth process. Dying at Samhain, reborn at Yule, a child at Imbolc, and so forth. This year, this morning, He burst through in a massive shiver, a whisper of Explore your darkness with Me, along with the song I was listening to on my commute.

The world is on fire
And you are here to stay and burn with me
A funeral pyre
And we are here to revel forever

The world is on fire
And we are tied as one eternally
A funeral pyre
And we are here to revel forevermore

Not only does He like Ghost, apparently, but He decided He would come back to adulthood NOW. I have been numb for much too long.

*the video is fan-made.

Twilight Covening comes again.

I have missed it for the past two years. Now that things are stabilizing financially (thanks to Kit’s new job), I am going back to Twilight Covening.

Of late, I have been utterly overwhelmed by Life. This, if you’ve been around for a while, is not unusual. We’re still in the midst of the House Saga (very close to actually buying it now, thanks to family help). There’s still stuff to unpack, because my nerves about being able to stay kept me from unpacking much more. We’ve had a plumbing problem in the kitchen that we might (might) have finally solved. And add to that doctor stuff, anxiety stuff, day-to-day responsibilities, and business stuff, and BOOM. There goes the spiritual life again.

I feel like one of the weirdest godslaves ever, really.

I did manage Ganeshotsav this year, good and proper, including the nose piercing I still owed Him. And we finally got the main altars set up. That all helped immensely.

But going back to Twilight Covening is a relief… and utterly nerve-wracking.

The selection process was shockingly easy for me. And I got my first choice – Kodiak, which is built to help us learn to nourish our Work and our Selves. This is part of why I’m relieved, because yet again, I’m restless and exhausted and way too often on the edge of burnout.

No, I didn’t keep up with yoga. No, I didn’t keep imced or the Fool in balance. No, I didn’t keep any of the lessons I learned at my last Twilight in 2013. I’ve let Life overwhelm me again, and over and over again let me berate myself for being a lazy Pagan and a bad godslave and everything else, which is a cycle that is really terrible, honestly, and you shouldn’t do that and neither should I, but welcome to my brain.

So I need this. I need this badly, and Kit’s insistence that I go, that I use part of his hard-earned first paycheck to register, is a relief.

But I’ve missed two years of the mountain. And going back after being away from anything so long makes me nervous as hell. I’m back to being that, “Oh no, trying new things, help?” person, at least for the moment.

Sir is quiet. Danu my Mother is quiet. Ganesha my Cousin is quiet. The Folk and Redwing and Raven (who has more say in my life these days), and Tamalut… they wait. Not to see what I’ll do, not to see if I’ll fail. They wait for me to learn and to grow and to find my way out of the hole I keep putting myself in. They set the path. I need to turn my feet to walk it more often, and more consistently. For my own health; for my own heart; for my own healing.

So back I go. Back to the cold stone, the warm leaves, the high mountain, the low sky. Back I go.

The Season of Darkness

Spring may be coming, but I received a distinct reminder last week that it isn’t here yet.

I drive about an hour each way to work these days, and living in the boonies, I see a lot more variety in road kill these days. Near the day job, I see mostly skunks, deer, and skunks.

So. Many. Skunks.

"I am adorable and will kill you with smell if you hit me."

“I am adorable and will kill you with smell if you hit me.”

Anyway, there’s more variety when you live out towards the country. Still lots of deer, still a few skunks, but also foxes, possums, raccoons, the occasional cat, even an owl. But surprisingly, it wasn’t in the country where I got this reminder.

Not five minutes from my office, on the main highway, I saw a distinctly canid form. I couldn’t stop that day, intended to stop the next. And of course, the next day, I blew right by and had a short debate with myself.

You can always stop tomorrow, said Mother, who has been very talkative of late.

No. No, I couldn’t. I turned around, got back to where I needed to go to safely pull off the road, and got out of the car.

That’s My girl, Mother said to me.

It was definitely not a domestic canine. She almost She almost didn't look real.didn’t look real. I’d never been so close to a wild one, and she was definitely long gone. I took one picture so that I could identify her later, placed a hand near her paw, said a few words, and walked back to my car.

I showed the picture to Kitten later. She was a coyote, although not apparently a healthy one. She did not appear to have been hit and thrown, but had perhaps simply died near the road, and while coyotes aren’t afraid of people in the first place, they’re normally far too clever to simply get hit. One way or another, this winter was hard on her, and she didn’t survive it.

Spring is coming. But the winter’s darkness isn’t over yet.

Hindsight.

Hindsight is a funny thing.

Now is a period of nostalgia, and of late I’ve found myself thinking of things past. Two, in particular.

One is the view of a pair of friends, once married, now not. Looking back, I see the patterns. I see, from early on, one’s temper, the other’s pacification. I see actions that, at the time, made no sense, but now do. I see the split of interests, so much so that even at their celebrations, the pictures show them further and further apart. I see my own trepidation over now-moot intentions and plans, even though initially and outwardly I was excited. I see a smile that I thought was forgotten as the darkness is addressed, and I see darkness being brooded over. And I wonder if I should have, could have said anything. (Other than, “Is everything okay?” however, no – my view was almost entirely external, which means that I really had no way to know for sure what was happening on the inside. There is nothing I could have said or done, nor was it my place to do so.)

The other is, quite understandably, our youngest son. He is now living in the woods, sort of, although we believe he’s spending more time with friends than anything. I wonder, looking back, if there’s anything we could have done to stop this path in its tracks. I wonder if, in our fear of forcing him into things the way his biological mother did, we did him a disservice. And although my logical side reminds me that he chose this path, that he is an adult now, that he must make his own way and heal (hopefully) under his own power, there is an angry side screaming for his brain to wake up, dammit, and a disappointed mother now doubting the past eight years of parenting.

It is the Shadow time. It is Nostalgia time. It is the time to Work through these thoughts and these doubts, and to nest in our new little hideaway.