©2021 Michael Raven
I’ve been particularly uninspired of late. Writing, in general, has been more of a struggle than it should be, in large part because, I think, I’m weary of writing in code. Poetry in general is a bit of a code — is it not? We avoid saying directly what we mean in order to become more artistic or to not quite reveal the emotions we feel boiling under the surface. At least, it is my feeling that most poetry (certainly not all), all the better stuff is some kind of coded message that we never really intend for the world at large to decipher, but expect certain people to hold the keys to that message and read between the lines — be it a specific target, or a generalized type of target.
The coded elements aside, I know I’ve been increasingly obsessed with the Old Ways and working on that code outside of the scholarly understanding of what happened before we wrote things down and was, instead, passed as traditions from mouth to mouth, and hand to hand before it was razed to the ground. I know that may bore some people who stop by here to death, but it is a true obsession of mine — the last of which (for me) was trying to get a perfect pour from an espresso machine. Even delving into Zen and Tao didn’t have these levels of absorption for me, and I delved deep into that area of thought.
So I beg your forgiveness if you are one of those people. However, I’m afraid I’m far from being done with that obsession.
I had recently mentioned in the last Housekeeping update that I was considering doing a tiered approach to posts when I went on my so-called “odyssey” to Seattle and Portland. After some thought, I decided it was egotistical to think that anyone might want special access to moi, and I’ll just post normally for the most part, and privately (no access to anyone) for those thoughts I don’t really want publicly available. I’m not sure what I was thinking by approaching the travelogue as a tiered thing, as I’ll just hide everything behind a “read more” block to spare those people who don’t care to know the more intimate deals of my trip. No passwords needed. My subconscious probably got it into its thick gel that people might actually give two farts into a stiff breeze about what I did on my adventure. What a self-important bastard that id can be at times.
I am still looking forward to the trip. Probably more than everyone would prefer me to look forward to it, but I think that might be on them. I pretty much deserve this break after so many years of not taking time out for myself. That’s not me being selfish, that’s me admitting that I tend to not allow myself to get too far out of the line of “fixing” problems — be it work, home life, kids, what have you.
The holidays have been survived by all those involved. Mostly. I still have some residual negativity about the season lingering around me, which makes the days somewhat tedious to deal with. Still, there is a lingering tension about these days, something my therapist has suggested might be a mild PTSD based on my formative years and the mental abuse I suffered from the extended family every holiday season. I’m not sure if I buy it — I can’t embrace such a thing too much if I think it diminishes what people who have much more trauma in their lives have to endure. But, my blood pressure, insomnia, and anxiety start to skyrocket just before Thanksgiving and doesn’t start to settle down until mid-January. Shrug. I don’t know that such an assessment is anything more than mildly noteworthy.
Still, once the tree gets put in a box and the music stops playing in the stores and people start talking about Valentines, I’ll feel better about winter.
The trip should help this move along.
Going back to the whole “Old Ways” digging, I am constantly fascinated at just how much people in general overlook inconvenient information to develop their belief systems. Take for instance, a post I recently read (older post, don’t recall where I saw the actual link), where some people in the Heathen community are upset by the notion that a child, when it dies, wouldn’t go to Valhalla, but to Hel. They are still caught up with this whole idea that not going to Valhalla is some kind of punishment, instead of a reward for being one half of the biggest, baddest, rootin’, tootin’, meanest SOB warriors in all of the world so they can join the final battle with Odin. It is a place for warriors, not a “heaven”. Nor is Hel a place of punishment, as they seem to think it might be — it is a place for people who die in some other act than dying in battle. This is one of the problems that has existed for a long time with the general pagan community — just translating reconstructed beliefs and superimposing them onto you former Christian beliefs. That’s just one of the many disconnects that I’ve seen digging into my own interests about the matter, and I have more thoughts about certain elements that I’ll threaten to post about at some point.
I’m sure there is more I need to update y’all on, but I look at the clock and it is time to start putting together tonight’s gruel.
Hope everyone is doing good and they stay warm with people they love.