air_n_darkness: (PoOrose)
[personal profile] air_n_darkness
The world has seen fit to remind me of late that one cannot exist in a vacuum. For my own comfort and sanity, I would have preferred for said reminder to have taken a different shape, but if needs must, then needs must. I have ever trended toward the road that leads toward forgetfulness, that walled path where I might keep those memories, errors, and pains upon which I would rather not dwell at careful distance, only glimpsing them through the occasional viewing alcove. I lose myself- willingly, I must add- in the comfortable persona I have developed over the years. I am seldom myself and more often what others need me to be in any given moment.

Not, I must add, that I am not also myself. I am more myself at this moment in my life than perhaps I have ever been. In the nearly two decades since my world shattered, I have grown much. I fell, fell hard, and more than once. I don't fear falling anymore, failing, perhaps, but not falling, and even failure is not the great death that it once was for me. I am at my core a survivor. I may not enjoy what I must do to survive, but survive I will. Admittedly, survival over the past years has led me to strange places and stranger companions, but there is little I would wish away. Even the pain of that first loss must always remain for it was the catalyst for so much.

I have never been a religious person, though I have always been a student of religion. I was brought up loosely as a Christian, mostly in a "that is the way it is done, so that is the way you must do it" way. I attended many churches, mainly for the company of friends. When one grows up in the country, and Town is small in size and mind, one clutches to what social circles might present themselves, you see. I also tended the ancient triangle of oaks in the backyard, sweeping careful paths around them, and leaving the center of the grouping open for I knew not what. So while there was always some structure of religion in my life, there was always magic of a sort as well. I always felt my prayers were stronger when spoke to earth and sky rather than my folded hands at bedtime. Still, I found the structure of religion appealing at the time, nearly as appealing as the company of my friends, and so I went, and I studied, and I considered.

Looking back, I understand more of why I was drawn to the idea of a structured religion. Growing up in a household always in flux, I needed something to ground myself with, to lose myself in. It never quite took, though. I would attend or awhile, then stop. Wash, rinse, repeat. It wasn't until I was in high school that I truly realized that I attended for the camaraderie, not for spiritual enlightenment. Certainly there was something else out there, and that something else might well include a capitol "G" god, but that god wasn't something I needed or even wanted.

What I wanted was magic.

Not "cauldron boil and cauldron bubble" magic, mind- I wanted what I had as a child, the connection to light and life and dark. The road to my present as far as that connection is convoluted, confusing, and already chronicled in part in this journal. I'm rather secure in myself, in my power and in my path now, something I couldn't say but a handful of years ago. I have no religion, and I follow no deity, and I have found my magic. I suppose I have found something of a spiritual path as well, though the term leaves a poor taste on my tongue. Much like using the term Pagan to describe myself does actually- I find it overused, trite, and more or less meaningless. I'll use the words to convey the base idea of myself to others, but don't claim them for myself.

A friend gave me a gift not long ago, a rather valuable gift of a calm space. That may sound like a strange thing to say, but it is not so strange if one understands that I have no resting state. I am always in some state of low-to-mid-level agitation, unless I have managed to take enough medication or imbibe enough alcohol to put me down. It is why I don't rest much when I sleep, among other things.

I have started taking advantage of that gift, sitting outside on my front stoop, a candle on the table beside me, bare feet planted on the bricks of my small, calm courtyard as I look between a triangle of trees at my small patch of night sky. Within the house, I leave music playing, and I can just hear it through the door upon which I am leaning. My courtyard sits on a crossroad, with all that entails, and in such a place, in such a state with such steady calm I simply can't allow my mundane troubles to burden me. At the same time, I am reminded of other obligations, and grow contemplative. I am forced to admit that there are things in life I really do miss, and that, perhaps, they are worth risking myself for.

Time will tell, I suppose.

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