The Religious Impulse

I’m tired. Emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically tired. I hit the wall awhile back and just kept trying to run. I’m so tired that I’ve been a crappy blogger who’s been busy trying to build walls around herself instead of being the open, laid-bare blogger I was a year ago. A year ago I would have told you I was struggling with this or that in my life. Today it feels like an admission of weakness rather than sharing a human experience. I’m so tired I’ve begun to think of blogging as warfare and words like besieged have slipped into my speech far too often. I don’t want to be that kind of person. I don’t want to be that kind of writer. So I’m going to stop trying to be a fortress or tower of strength, which I suck at, and be a human, where I have a better chance of success.

Normally when I get tired of blogging a Pagan somewhere does something amazing, and it energizes me and inspires me to wake up ready to share amazing things through this blog. Well, Pagans have been doing some fantastic things things lately and while it has warmed my heart and given me hope, it hasn’t energized my writing. I’ve honestly been questioning why and if it is important to keep blogging. This blog began as something much different and against my wishes evolved into something else, an intensely personal forum rather than a group effort I merely administrated. It’s been a tool of personal growth, a way to spread good news and a community of readers that I’ve come to rely on for perspective, insight, criticism and affirmation. It’s also become a burden, another stone around my neck at a rather hectic and stressful job.

Today, like too many days of late, I didn’t want to write. I have plenty of things to write about, so it’s not writer’s block. I simply don’t want to deal with it. I’ve begun judging topics based on whether I have the energy, time or patience to deal with the discussion it will engender. At times I force myself to write a post I don’t have the energy to deal with only to find later that I’ve written an aggressive, snarky and completely unreadable post. I’ve been trying to get to the bottom of this on my own, trying to decide if what little I do over here on the Pagan portal is worthwhile and trying to discover how to reclaim the energy I once had.

This is what I have discovered: I write because I have a religious impulse to do so. Everyone has their own gift, and unfortunately this is the only one I have. Writing is all I’ve got to give. I am not a brilliant teacher, nor a gifted ritualist. I’m not an inspiring and dedicated activist. I’m not a wise elder, nor even a good student. I’m no enchanting musician, talented visual artist or helpful mentor. I’m not even a supportive lover, or raising up the next generation of Pagans. I’m someone who chews through words and ideas, who worries a concept until it makes sense to her and whose tool is the written word. In the larger picture, it’s not a very useful gift.

I prayed for help once. My prayer was answered. I’ve been mocked for praying, scoffed for believing my prayer was answered, patronized for my interpretation of the answer and even been told I’m superstitious for believing in omens and signs. However, it is true that I write because my prayer was answered with a pen. That pen led me to Patheos, and the exhausting experience of working for a start-up was married to the very difficult concept of inter- and intra-faith dialogue. It’s been a huge blessing and a wonderfully transformative experience for me. I hope my work here has been of use to the Pagan community, and I hope it continues to be useful.

Yet it’s time for me to say out loud that I am tired. That I’m hurting. That maybe this work is leaching energy from me faster than I can replenish it. I write this knowing that some will find this post a victory of sorts. That’s ok. I’m not going anywhere. I am tired, and burnt out, and in need of serious restorative care that only I can give myself, but thankfully I see that in time to remedy it. I needed to tell my readers what is going on, because I’ve not been my best lately and I recognize that. I don’t want to be a fortress, or angry, or tired, or irritable. I want to write like I used to, fearlessly from my heart. Starting today I’m going to work on that, so that I can keep doing this work rather than pushing myself to the point of no return.

I love this work, and I love all my concentric circles of community, from my family, to my coven, to my fellow writers, all the way to the great overarching sense of kinship I feel with all Pagans. I write not merely because I believe in my path, but because I believe in us. All of us. From Estonia to Oakland. From Druid to Thelemite. I love you guys, all of you Pagans out there, and I’m sorry I’ve been out of sorts. Right now I’m tired, not terribly useful, and generally crappy. I will get better. There is a bright future ahead. Thanks for sticking with me.

I may write from a religious impulse, from a devotional and pious nature, but I write for a human community made up of amazing people that I love dearly. They’re known as Pagans.

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About Star Foster

Polytheistic Wiccan initiated into the Ravenwood tradition, she has many opinions. Some of them are actually useful.