Eris in the Machine

Eris in the Machine June 29, 2022

Chester and I both had projects we wanted to work on — he was determined to declutter his apartment, and I really needed to write [self-serving drumroll] a book proposal. But we’d both been procrastinating, so we decided to team up and be accountabilibuddies. The plan was that I’d go over to his place and commandeer his computer, while he filled up boxes with whatever no longer sparked joy. And we’d listen to soothing music while we toiled away.

It was a solid strategy. And I kept effing it up.

We were supposed to meet up over Memorial Day weekend to get started, but I cancelled, because my apartment complex accidentally had Pukwudgie towed out of my assigned parking spot (which is a whole Discordian tale in and of itself), and I was too stressed about getting him safely home to worry about anything else. Chester understood and suggested we postpone a week.

Eris looking on like, “Alrighty, then. Time to activate some protocols.” (Image via Pixabay.)

The following Saturday, I woke up with an agonizing gum infection — like, I couldn’t chew, and my right cheek was starting to swell. I called Chester, and he was like, “Oh! I have a cold laser, which effectively treats pain and inflammation. Come on over and I’ll fix you.” I told him that I sincerely appreciated the offer, but that I was going to just take antibiotics and sleep until I felt better.

To which he responded, “Wow. You… really don’t want to finish that proposal. I’m curious as to what obstacle you’re going to manifest next.”

Under normal circumstances, I’d be willing to entertain the idea that I was unconsciously manufacturing crises in order to avoid responsibility. However, my face hurt, and I’d already committed to victimhood, so I grumbled something about being master of my own domain and went back to bed.

It was around this time that my blog stopped functioning properly.

Whenever a Patheos author publishes an essay, the post goes into a queue, to be automatically added to their channel’s Facebook page in regularly-scheduled, two-hour intervals. These posts are usually displayed with a cover photo and title, but for some reason, when I uploaded a new post, it appeared on the Facebook page as just a link to Patheos dot com, with no image or description. Clicking on the link would lead to the actual post, but there was nothing visual to encourage readers to click the link in the first place.

Concerned, I contacted Patheos and was like, “Help?” And they were like, “Huh. That’s really odd. We’ll take care of it right now.” And then it happened to my next post, and the two posts after that, until I was emailing Patheos like, “WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME?!?” And they were writing back like, “WE DON’T KNOW AND IT’S FREAKING US OUT.”

“So help me, I will punch him in the face with a damn apple if he doesn’t figure catch on soon.” (Image via Pixabay.)

Eventually, it was determined that there was an incompatibility between Facebook and the auto-scheduling software, which created a glitch that, somehow, only affected my blog. And because it was only causing problems for me, I suddenly realized what needed to be done to rectify the technical issues.

Remember how, a few months ago, I said that I thought Eris wanted me to write a book? I’ve been meaning to get a proposal together ever since then, but every time I tried to work on it, Impostor Syndrome got the better of me, and I would end up blogging instead. Blogging I can control; submitting my work to a publisher and waiting for them to maybe or maybe not go, “Ew,” is an exercise in turning things over to a Higher Power, and a frightening exercise at that.

Except in this case, I felt like the Higher Power in question was starting to get testy with me. But just to confirm, I pulled out those lithomantic stones I’d been fooling around with.

“Hey, Eris,” I asked, sitting cross-legged on my carpet. “If I turn in that proposal, will my blog start posting on Facebook correctly?” And I let the stones fall.

Jupiter, Mercury, and Luck triangulated neatly around the Indicator, while Saturn rolled to the opposite side of the circle, and the Sun bounced out completely.

When a stone lands outside of the reading space, I tend to interpret it as something irrelevant to the matter on the ground in front of me. If we shift over to Chaos Magical Theory, the Sun translates as Ego, so I understood that Ego was no longer running the show. But Ego also rules illusions, so by not being a part of the divinatory mosaic, illusions of my own creation were pulled aside, and only the truth could be seen.

I’m just saying she didn’t say no. (Image via Pixabay.)

Chase showed up an hour later with a couple of pizzas and a burning desire for indoctrination into Screen Ireland horror movies, and I met him at the door.

“There’s been a slight change of plans,” I said. “Eris is holding my blog hostage, and we have to rescue it.”

We unfortunately did not get much done on the proposal, since we hadn’t hung out in awhile, and it was vitally important that we catch each other up on the latest rumors swirling around the varied communities in which we both participate. So it was basically 120 minutes of us sounding like we were connected to polygraph machines: “True… false… true… true… okay, funny story about that one, but false…” But I did finally make it over to Chester’s, and the following morning, after forcing Mike to proofread it twice, I sent the proposal off to meet its fate.

What goes down next is anyone’s guess: I haven’t thrown stones or pulled cards or made dots about it, because I’m doing my best to accept that Eris has Her own agenda, and I’ve completed the task She assigned to me. The final outcome will be a revelation, but it’ll be Her setting it all up. I’m just along for the ride at this point.

All of that to announce this: I added a new post to my blog this past Saturday, and two hours after I hit “publish,” it turned up on the Patheos Pagan Facebook page, cover photo and title displayed faultlessly.

Actually, it ended up posted twice. Which was weird. But I was not about to complain about it.

Insert the Samantha Stevens nose-twitching sound effect here, with maybe a car crash or an explosion or something in the background. (Image via Pixabay.)

I can’t pretend to know what grand design Eris has in store. I mean, I got the proposal in and got my blog back, but maybe a book isn’t the point.

Maybe this is just one of a myriad small actions that will assemble together in some insane, spectacular way. Like, I submit a proposal, and five weeks from now, Greg Abbott derails an NRA fundraiser by accidentally making out with Dan Patrick.

Even if I don’t get a book deal out of this venture, just knowing that I played my creatively disordered part is more than reward enough.

Like what you’ve read? You can buy me a coffee about it.

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About Thumper
Thumper Marjorie Splitfoot Forge is a Gardnerian High Priest, an initiate of the Minoan Brotherhood, an Episkopos of the Dorothy Clutterbuck Memorial Cabal of Laverna Discordia, a recovering alcoholic, and a notary public from Houston, TX. You can read more about the author here.

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