Preparing for Writing

I decided I was going to try and take part in NaNoWriMo this year. So far it isn’t going excellent, but I did get something done today. Introspection. I have a book, Writing Begins with the Breath by Laraine Herring. It has exercises in it and, on top of just freewriting, I also did a particular exercise. I don’t mind sharing, because perhaps it’ll make others struggling to find their way feel better because they aren’t alone.

I don’t know if I can do this. NaNoWriMo is a big deal, it’s fifty thousand words. How could I possibly fill that many words and make them mean something? How can I create something that soothes my soul? I don’t even know what my soul wants, what it needs. I know that my god and goddess make me feel heard by the universe. I know they respond and care about me. I know that [Zolfyer] is someone I love deeply. He makes me feel safe and protected, from the world and myself. I trust him to look after me and give me love. I know I want a child, so strongly that it’s nearly desperate. I don’t know why I wish for that so incredibly, even as I find myself terrified of being responsible for another life. I know I love plants. They are quiet and soft, steady and strong. Their spirits are easy to connect to, and they make me feel alive. I can learn a lot from them and they quiet and steady me. I know I love animals and wish so often to be a wolf. They are beautiful animals, they love their pack and care for each other. Strong, quiet, soft. They suffer from harsh weather and the simplicity of fighting for your food. And yet, and yet I wish to be one. Patience. Cooperation. I love the night, the moon calls to me as a light calls a moth. It is the eye of my god watching me at times, and others it is a guiding light. One that soothes and reaches out. I love the setting sun and the dawn. The between, the horizon. A blazing death of the sun, shattering the skies with its power and gorgeousness, a cool birth that gains strength. Fall and spring, the very air is charged with a certain energy. Nature holds its breath, the in between curls around me. The cool air is safe and inviting, the plants preparing for death and sleep, the whole world preparing for it. The power of their spirits returning in spring, growing and spreading, reaching out to me. Trees whisper to wake each other.

Writing begins with this breath. The breath of change, the sigh of sleep, of release. The yawn of waking, of growing. The breath of the wind, the breath of nature, as it shifts, as it moves, as it cools and as it warms, the touch of rain, the wash of water, the heat of the sun. Ah, this is where writing begins. Everywhere around me it breathes, it searches, it stretches. It soothes.

Is this why I reach for my camera in spring and fall? Why I watch the blossoms grow and shift, why I love the black and white? How I miss taking pictures.

I’m finally going to do these exercises for this book. Here’s the first one.

When I am at a crossroads I…
stall. I run away or stand there as long as I possibly can doing nothing. I’ve no confidence in my ability to make decisions for myself, especially if they are important. Why should I be? They are often belittled or overridden, or both. Crossroads are scary places for me, because they are lined with those who question me so much that I cannot be certain of myself or their paths. These same people also have so many ideas, thoughts and suggestions (though they can often be called commands and instructions) that I have too much information and too many options. Then I am questioned more, interrogated even, and my confidence and willingness to cooperate is shot even more. When I finally make a decision, if it’s possible, it is still hounded and I am plagued with uncertainty and regret over whether I made the best decision. Either that or the decision is overturned and I am forced the way someone else thinks is the best way, if I’m given the ability to decide on my own in the first place. It is…counterproductive. I am not capable of relying on my own intuition and wisdom. I am not often given the benefit of the doubt as to whether I am able to make the appropriate decision for myself, on my own. I have been told that I am incompetent and unreliable, I am still told regularly that I am not an adult. I still have no respect. I am lost and stuck at crossroads, frozen and panic-stricken, heckled and doubted.

Change means…
loss. Initially I was going to go with the classic “fear”, but loss is what came out. Change is loss, you are losing the old for the new. You are leaving behind the security of the known for the unknown. Change is panic, change is annoying. Change is refreshing, yet it does not refresh. It is a way to move things along. The irony is that change may not purge stagnation, and even when it does, you may be so plagued by stress and aggravation that you feel no relief, even if it’s what you wanted. I have had many things in my life change, not all of them for the better, as all people experience. Recently I experienced change in the form of a new goddess. The Queen of Light and Dark, Persephone. She requested to work with me and Anpu and Aset agreed. They are even enthusiastic about Persephone’s presence. They think it is a good change of pace. She does not seem like one who will cause me undue duress, and has already reached out to me. How can I turn them down, when they all are so excited to help me? Yet, I still have no idea what She wants.

Fear means…
itself. I honestly do not know what to think about this. Fear is itself, it reaches into every corner of life to warn you, to hold you back. Sometimes it is unnecessary and unwelcome, but fear always has a purpose. It is always warning you of something, whether that be undesired revelations or the contents of the creepy closet. Fear is a catalyst, it will either hamper you or inspire you. Can you push past the barrier of fear to write? Can you understand why you’re afraid of what you write, and what you want to write? How can you use that fear to help you, to push you forward? Fear always reveals something; it reveals what you want, what you don’t want, what you hide and why. I hide from those who know me, for I fear they will read it and be angry or dismissive. “You’re not depressed, it is just being a teenager.” You’re not an adult until I say you are. You know nothing of that. You are liar, arrogance, selfishness. When you are told such things you begin to fear your perspective, your sanity, your mind and opinion. You begin fearing whether you are capable of truth and of knowledge. Can I be wise? Can I tell truth? Can my writing show selflessness and humility, while being true to myself and perspective? Is my mind valid?

Risk means…
Change and Terror. Panic, but a potentially worthy pursuit. Risk is exposure, it is weeping. You tear down your walls and put yourself out there, inviting the world to look at your wounds and scars. Will they see what you hope for, or what you always feared? Is risk worth it? You open yourself to criticism, to misunderstanding. You expose yourself to abuse and name-calling. Are you brave enough? Are you strong enough? Risk is gathering your strength, your hope, your trust and placing it on the block. Will you be lauded or crucified? Lynched or paraded? Will others see your truths, will they be helped or harmed? Who knows, but everywhere there is risk. You risk your life in so many ways every day. You risk your sanity, your health, all the time. Here, there be demons.

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Persephone

So, I had three blog posts I had meant to write over the last week, two fiction and one relevant. I can’t for the life of me remember what the relevant one was for, but it doesn’t really matter; I have this one. Yesterday I had the third strange dream this week. The images of the other two are fleeting, but besides their content, the timing itself is odd. You see, I haven’t had much in the way of dreams lately. Bad sleep and school and such make my dreams “dark”. In other words, the sense that you haven’t dreamed or only very little and vaguely. However, this has changed.

The other day, I dreamt of children. I was in a school, though not a teacher. It was all elementary school students, and it was a massive school, the size of a college. There I found the two kids who I’ve cared for recently and the most strongly. The one is an infant and I’m her nanny currently, the other is now a fourth grader. Said fourth grader is from my old job as a PCA and she was tough. I was stressed to the limit helping her, but I won’t lie and say I didn’t hold her near and dear. I worry about and think about her a lot and wonder if it would be professional (it isn’t) and/or well received if I called or texted her mom to see how she was doing. I pray for her and her family a lot, she was troubled. She was also in my dream.

I remember seeing her, and she ran to me. We talked and I went with her to her next class. She had a bit of a breakdown and I was explaining to her teacher how to handle it and what was causing it. I was also defending her right to be there and not to be treated badly. “She’s getting better, this isn’t new. It isn’t as bad as it could be.” Stuff like that. I took her to lunch and then we were in the hallway and I was thinking about doing some magic for her. Healing heka, wondering how I would phrase it for her and her family. A boy came by and wanted to know what we were doing and join us. I had been given a piece of paper, and whoever gave it to me said something about the girl’s drawing ability and lines. She could make herself a sigil and not know it. So I gave both her and the boy paper and pens to draw and they didn’t know they drew sigils.

In the meantime I had also been seeing and talking to my current employer. She was asking me to fold laundry and then take the baby. Baby was in a car seat and I was doing what her mom wanted in between the other child’s classes. Then the hallway filled up with people and I lost her. I found her again, after I had given the girl and boy paper to make their sigils, and I felt bad that I was taking care of the older child better than the baby. She was impossibly small out of nowhere when I picked her up (she had been crying). She stretched and arched, a disembodied voice mentioned that she was feeling discomfort and pain. The baby was now able to fit in my palms and I rubbed her stomach with my thumbs. I was carrying her somewhere, but then the dream was interrupted.

Last night, I dreamt of being at a Pokémon game tournament. It was big and resided in a school, a dream version of my high school. I was winning, so was Zolfyer, though he ended up getting moved differently in the rankings because he was trashing people and I was having balanced battles. I went to the next room, which was really an oddly built hallway, where we were waiting for the next rankings and assigned rooms to be posted. Now, in this dream I had the sense that I was very well off, and that well off-ness had everything to do with Zolfyer and his job. This is important because everywhere I went someone was complaining about finances. Utility bills being cut off or disabled (there’s no such thing, but in the dream this meant limited and reduced services with shutoff an outcome if bills continue to go unpaid). Every time I listened to a conversation it undoubtedly would mention bills. Electricity and heat were the primary victims.

It was very strange to say the least, but I tried to ignore it. Anyway, in this weird hallway I initially thought the next round was going to start, so I went looking for my table and next opponent. I briefly saw someone I greatly dislike and decided that if my opponent was over there I wasn’t going to play. And just like that no one was really playing, not for the tournament anyway. I sat near the bathrooms and had a conversation. To whom is unknown, I just knew it was a female friend at one point and a male friend at another. Anyway, the boy’s bathroom was particular strange. It didn’t seem like it had a toilet or urinal, just a sink and this weird hole in the floor for the guys to pee in. Zolfyer called it a “glorified water closet”. I honestly don’t really know what that means. I’ve never heard of a water closet, and apparently it’s only glorified because of the sink.

For the most part guys were going in, shutting the door, and coming back out like normal people. Then this one dude went in there and called out to me to come in with him. I had no idea who the creepster was, and I sure as shit wasn’t going in there. I don’t know how he even knew my name. He said something about needing someone in there to make it work (the floor I guess) and being lonely and needing me specifically in there. I was like, fuck that noise. He made this creepy and odd grin and shut the door. I had three other guys make gross passes at me over this bathroom while I sat around and talked with friends, all of them became background after leaving the bathroom. Eventually I asked my friend, “is this happening just because I’m sitting in front of the bathroom?” My friend just laughed. I don’t know if I got an answer.

The tournament started to pick back up and I was assigned to the library section for my next match. I went there and was looking at books and reading them, I also fussed at some young teens and kids for being too noisy or something and gave them advice on battling. Then I went to go find my opponent. I didn’t get to find though because I was interrupted.

It was weird, they suddenly started having speakers come in to talk about work. I don’t know what kind of work, but it was work I didn’t like, didn’t agree with, and had tried before. They were also people I didn’t like and I don’t know why or who. I passed a particular classmate in the hall as I was leaving, he was in a suit and with the job people, and overheard him talking about his heating bill being disabled and worrying about paying the balance and getting it restored. Winter is coming, it’s about to get shut off, the bill is large (the number 2,172$ keeps popping up). I saw myself going to him and whispering “how much do you owe?” But in reality I didn’t do that. I did stand and watch, wondering if I should reach out, but something told me it was neither my job nor expectation to help him. I wasn’t supposed to, I wasn’t allowed to and Z wouldn’t like it. So I didn’t.

Telling this dream to Zolfyer was a struggle. I hadn’t gotten enough sleep so I was addled and my mind was full of the sense of Persephone. When I had gotten up Her presence and the powerful sense that She was trying to tell me something pervaded my body. Recounting the dream to Zolfyer only made it clearer and stronger, and above all more persistent. However, I don’t know what She is trying to communicate here, and I get the feeling that all the dreams I’ve been having are related to Her, as well as the baffling sense of deja vu towards Aubs’ recent astral post.

I know she’s never written a post like that. I know we’ve never discussed the white room or the rose or even Papa Legba. However, reading that post was entirely a sense of “I know this. I know this. I have heard this, seen this, read this before. I was there, I have been there. The rose is powerful for her, she’s been in that room before somewhere.” And now that I recount this sensation I realize that she has been there before with Sekhmet. It is confusing and inexplicable. Aubs has never been there with her goddess as far as I can remember from her blogs and I know she has been there before with Papa Legba. I have seen the words of that post before and I do not know where, but I feel so terrifyingly strongly that I’ve read it and known it before that it bears mentioning. And then that night I read it, I dream of children.

My new goddess is trying very hard to speak to me and I’ve no idea what She is saying.

Change

This particular story starts three days ago in the grocery store. I saw a giant box of pomegranates and Aset very strongly nudged that She wanted one. Aset rarely asks me for anything so I figured, why not? I like pomegranates and haven’t had one in a couple years. Yesterday I woke up feeling a vague sensation. I didn’t really have words for it, but it had everything to do with the sky outside. Going outside to feel the startling warmth of the day despite the dreary sky intensified the sensation. The very wind was whispering to that feeling in my heart.

I had a strange string of thoughts while heading to work. Thinking about Anpu and Aset, about my path and offerings led to thoughts of heka for my younger sister and Persephone. Persephone’s presence remained throughout the day and I pondered if She was there over my sister. I still think She has plans and cares about my sister, but She is here for me as well. At one point I fussed at Aset for inviting Persephone into my head for pomegranates (and then Anpu for trying to pull “well She’s my friend too!”) However I really didn’t mind. I had to admit I was fairly curious where the Queen of Light and Dark came from and why.

In the meantime I figured out what that sensation was. I don’t usually have very strong and vivid premonitions, but this was and still is a clear and powerful feeling. Change. Yesterday was brimming with the energy of change. A fantastic wave of turbulent energy flowed into me with even the slightest breeze. The entire day the weather insisted that it was upon the edge, waiting for cliffs to crumble (I also had an internal monologue about cliffs from my writing persona) and hoarding energy. Now, the sense of this change is very neutral, some people are going to have good change, some are not, others are going to have much of both. I am certain that everyone is going to be affected, but this premonition is specific to people I know and am close to. The overwhelming sense is that the change is going to be very intense, but again, not necessarily negative.

I feel like Persephone’s presence is part of the start of this change for me. I really don’t know much about Her, but She apparently approached Aset and Anpu to ask if She could work with me. According to my tarot draw, both of my netjer are excited for this new opportunity for me. Anpu went so far to say this could be a new start, to my creative spirit and my spiritual path. They both insist they won’t leave, so for that I am relieved. With this new deal though, I had to more thoroughly consider where my path was going. I have thought off and on for a couple weeks if the path of Kemeticism was right for me. I know my gods are right, I just don’t know if the religious framework is useful to me anymore.

I did what I like doing. I asked for help. Now, some of you know iretenra. She’s super awesome and worships Anpu as her primary deity as well. I’ve learned a lot from her, and regard her very highly. She also worships Persephone (and if I’m not mistaken came to that through Persephone’s self-invite). I went right to message her and ask for help. I figured Iretenra was in a similar situation as I was and she gave me spectacular advice.

1. Persephone is very helpful and kind. You may experience Her differently, but why not see it through?
2. If you feel Kemeticism isn’t working for you, think about what does.
3. You can figure out what does work by doing some introspection on what makes your heart sing spiritually.
4. Follow your heart.

Considering Kemeticism is all about hearts, I can jive with those things. She gave me examples of what she meant too, so I have a bit of a starting point. Ironically several of the things she listed are things that make my heart sing spiritually. I still need to consider things more deeply, especially if I plan to create a spiritual path off of these things and incorporate Anpu, Aset and now Persephone. So, we’ll see where this change goes.