Too Much, Not Enough

Yesterday was a busy day intellectually for me. Interesting things were read, interesting things were discussed. It makes me wonder if I’m trying to do too much, or if I’m not doing enough. What started this cascade of thinking was this post by Briar on The Jackal’s Dance. I had come to wordpress to write a post musing on the implications of finding too much reality in your fiction and saw her post. I jumped right on it since I have a bad habit of not checking my reader enough. Her post punched me in the limbic system and I stared at it for a few minutes, wondering what the heck I was supposed to do with it. All I could think for those minutes was “why is your post in my head!”

It stomped all over exactly what my problem has been for these last two years (holy shit it really has been that long hasn’t it?). Worry, comparison, looking for too much to do and not enough at what I needed. Briar’s post is about her dealing with the thought that maybe she’s not supposed to get special work, and being ok with that. Not everyone is going to look like Devo or Aubs, who not only have a lot of work but different gods.

Then came the flailing about what he wanted from me.  Loving myself, loving him, the poetry–that was all good, but wasn’t there Work of some kind?  Work that would go back to the Kemetic community–was I meant to be a priestess, or divination worker, or [insert role here]…something?

“Loving yourself is work enough,” Anubis would tell me.  “Don’t model you relationship with me after others’.  Those others are not you.”

Quoted from The Jackal’s Dance

This particular part of her post is really what resonated with me. All of my pagan friends have Work. Or at least, the ones I talk to the most and consider my mentors do. So, naturally, I wanted work too. It’s like being the four year old little sister, you follow your big sisters around, trying to do what they’re doing. I poked and prodded and whined until something was given to me, and it isn’t really going anywhere. Perhaps it’s not going anywhere because it isn’t really meant for me, at least not yet. I’ve been feeling like I’ve missed points for a while now, like I’m lacking something. I always figured it was Work, something to do, but now it seems like I’m missing the point that something to do is just as likely to be devotion.

I’ve been slowly reading the book What is Hinduism? by the Himalayan Academy. In case anyone missed the memo, Kali has come calling, banging on the door. Anpu let her in, which is fine, the only reason I avoided the Hindu pantheon is out of worry that I’d be disrespectful to the people who worship those gods and to the gods themselves. Either she’s more patient than I expected or Anpu is a hell of a diplomat (I’m wagering both, but especially the latter) but she has insisted I learn. The book talks about the four major sects and some of the yogas, including bhakti. Right now I’m only on chapter 3, which discusses the nature of god, the soul and moksha. I actually asked myself what I was aiming for, in general. I wasn’t aiming for any of this stuff was I? This complicated mess of Work and community and such? Was I even aiming for moksha? No, I really wasn’t, I just didn’t want to feel left out and lonely, a problem I’ve had for years. An unnecessary fear, because my friends are cooler and more loving than that.

I think, also, that I’m worried I’m not doing enough. I’m not looking for drama or spectacular stunts. Nor am I seeking praise or status. I just want to feel like I’m actually doing something to please them, and I was taught to please a god you do more than just worship. There’s jobs to do, there’s stuff to get done and you’re supposed to ask for it. Not getting it usually means a shortcoming of some kind, either you’re not ready (technically not in itself a shortcoming), or some other problem. I don’t know. But, thinking on it, most people are not priests or holy women or anything special, they just do what they can and devote themselves how they will. Ma’at is not all about the fancy rites and special heka, right action comes in little things too. Devotion to the gods is just as important on the small scale. Though I still feel like I’d like a job to do, I need to take a page from Briar, and just focus on me and my relationship to the gods.

Coin Toss

“Last I checked, your entire practice was about being dual-natured.”

Anpu has thrown me for a loop, as one might expect from the Master of Secrets. The conversation that led to the above statement was about learning healing magic from someone who is rather destructive and possesses powerful abilities to take things apart. Of course, being a smartass about learning healing from an unlikely source to a god who is Himself a contradiction in terms and fairly sassy would get me a decent comeback. (In fact he even went *cough* god of death, healing god *cough* really obnoxiously)

This begs the question, what exactly is the dual nature of my practice? I honestly have no idea. Humans are not dual-natured, at least, not continuously. As a species we tend to be rather dichotomous. Either/or, this or that, here or there, black or white. If I am right then you must be wrong, if neither of us are right there must not be an answer, etc, et al. Humans don’t deal with gray or both answers. We are not very good at being dual-natured, though we are quite good at being dichotomous (you can see this when you consider the way small children think. You are either all good or all bad at that particular moment, they believe you are there or you are not, you are nice or you are mean, they cannot consider the world as being both yes and no at the same time until they get older and are taught).

I think part of this is that I don’t really have a…purpose of sorts to my practice. I am not “doing” anything besides worship and going about daily business. I’m a bit of a busybody and get easily bored, throw in a not-always-advantageous brain (like right now, it refuses to cough up the word I really want and keeps giving me advantageous instead) and I can’t focus easily. I don’t know what Anpu means by saying my practice is dual-natured, what’s so double-sided about it? Something about Him is the key to this particular puzzle. Him and his plans.

Of course, this also makes me wonder if I could choose the nature of my practice. What would I choose? Even as I consider it, I think in dichotomies. Separate categories, opposites, instead of continuums, venn diagrams. For instance, thinking of Anpu’s comment made me think, well healer and warrior, but I’m not a warrior (upon thinking that I heard uproarious laughter). But what else? What else can I do? What else do I like? What else could I stand? I will have to think about this.