I am looking for something. And I don’t know what it is. I am looking for a place to call home. A land that speaks to me. No, all land speaks. I’m looking for a land I can hear. Whose words and sounds and shapes match my rhythms and cadences. I’m looking for the gods. Where will they manifest? In this ritual? At this devotion? Around that corner? The gods have truly Shown Up so rarely that I go through long phases wondering if I’ve just made it all up. But I didn’t, I haven’t. Those few occasions where I heard a Voice, saw a Shape, experienced the “peace that surpasses all understanding,” had a prayer answered – I cling to those moments with an embarrassing tenacity. Shameless.
I am shameless. I am unrepentantly enthusiastic, about my friends, my kids, the mystic life, my favorite color of the day, I will too loudly and rather awkwardly share my passion with any one that will listen. I am annoying. But this is my light and I let it blaze as brightly as it needs to. I am shameless, like the Hermit, walking wyrd roads with a lantern as my light before me.
I think the world needs more bright lights for the gods. The world is full, full to bursting, with bright lights. We have more talented singers than we can keep up with. More beautiful people imposing their faces upon us. We have speakers and bloggers and all kinds of communicators exhorting us from every media under the sun. We have designers designing and sportsfolk sporting and teachers teaching; lights are bright if we have eyes to see.
I shine in my small, daily life. I love my mundane life. I have learned more about the spiritual life by being a mother than I ever expected to. Airy, wordy, abstract me has been grounded, solidified, and concretized by birthing and raising three children. I see theology in action in family life. I see the honing of values. The application of wisdom. But the wild longing of my heart is still there, singing a siren song, calling me to drive into the woods and abandon the car at the end of the road and to keep walking. Take all the money, leave the children behind, and go on that sacred sites pilgrimage of the British Isles that I never did. Go to India and meet that Guru I’ve been emailing.
I will never be half the writer Alley Valkyrie is. Have you read her journalism at the Wild Hunt? Or the poet that Rhyd Wildermuth is. I can’t see myself as the the wise applier of principals that John Beckett manages to do in nearly every thing he writes. I don’t have the skill, the eloquence and ability to bring together intense ideas that Anomalous Thracian does. Nor I am the researcher that Jason Mankey is. Seriously, he puts more effort into a single article than most bloggers combined. Yet for reasons beyond me I feel compelled to process myself with words and to share those words. I began writing to keep myself accountable. I keep writing because I hope I can find what I’m looking for in the forest of verbal vines and twisting thoughts. Here too I am seeking desperately for my Self, the More Than Self.
I’m hungry. And not for words. Words only point the way, they are not the way themselves. Words remind me, but they are not the experience. I don’t think I can write myself out of this longing.
I’m hungry and not just because I’ve been on a month long fast. Eliminating the distraction of food and sugar and whiskey has only sharpened my hunger for what it is that I’ve been seeking my whole life. That mystic connection when I feel a forest alive and talking amongst itself. The sometimes just knowing things and the feeling of connection that comes with that, unsettling as it can be. The slipping between time that happens when meditation or ritual clicks. The intimacy that occurs when I recognize the spark of the divine in others or feel a divinity’s presence. The wild, holy freedom that rushes through me when I sit on a beach in Alaska, neither seeing nor hearing another human for miles and miles. The slipping between worlds that I felt when walking through tame fields in Wales. I want that. I want more of that. I want it every day.
Some days I feel like I will never touch those feelings again. That I’ve filled every space left with in me with Facebook, to-do lists, dishes, and trips to the grocery store. That still, still, I have this longing. Always this longing. Like blood in my veins, pumping relentlessly. But my heart is sliced open and bleeding. Always oozing, never healed. The Holy is the grit in the shell of my heart. Shamelessly, I want to touch the pearl, always out of reach.