It is full of woo if I read back, but it is everyday embodied woo more than pithy words, Dali Lama inserts, and quotes from “how to be more yourself only better/happier/faster/more awe inspiring” authors who seem to have cornered the market on 5 word sound bytes that sound so important. My blog is not full of pointed “think on this today” questions. And it won’t be.
Those types of religious blogs are fine for others to write. I read some of those blogs myself. For many of them their public persona is very strictly controlled with professional image restriction in content stamped all over it. Everyone gets to be exactly who they are so I leave them to it. They are far better at spiritual declarations about the constant chase of their inner blockages in less than 100 words. Me, I’m gonna sit here and talk to you like we know each other intimately and with a lot more words. I can do the quips. I can do the eyebrow-raised core soul querying (I call these “deep thinky thoughts”) and sometimes I will do that, but mostly what you’ll get is a thorough and thoroughly flawed picture of me.
A couple of years ago during an intense religious ordeal I found myself making an oath alone in a large museum room with a stuffed buffalo. (For those curious a ceremony was done asking her permission to sacrifice her to educate others in the museum. She agreed and so it was done.) As I pet her I teared up and leaned my upper body against her shoulder, head on her neck, forearms and hands on either side of my head. Words pounded into my head and I knew I was expected to say them out loud as an oath. I didn’t want to. I didn’t understand what the oath meant so I balked. But as the incessant pounding into my head continued it became clear the way to stop it was to speak it. And so I did.
I kept rolling it around in my head. I couldn’t make sense of it in a way to be or live or serve. It was a command for how to serve. I was focusing on the wrong part of the sentence. I was trying to suss out the wrong part. It was the beginning of the sentence that I should have noted. There is a thing about buffalo and the tie between them and the indigenous people of this country. Their is a bond and an agreement. The buffalo gives itself to the people and the people honour the buffalo by using all of its parts.
I serve by using all of my parts. The glorious centered and grounded part, the broken parts, the flaws and foibles, the less than stellar parts, the high woo parts, the devoted parts, the Joy and Love parts. I show all of them here, not only some of them. You’ll get widely varied posts about: predators, naps, slips back into coping mechanisms, woo, and sitting in shit. This is who I am, religious blog or not, and the difference between this blog and the other one on Dreamwidth is I am focused on my practices and leaving out the other mundane stuff that ends up there.
I write as if I am talking to you with incomplete sentences, extra punctuation, rise and fall in pitch, and all the rest of the weirdness that is my writing. In ritual and out of ritual I am pretty much the same. Offline and online I am pretty much the same. I’ve met a good number of folks in “real life” that I had only previously known online and I have yet to hear one of them say, “Oh! You’re so different than online!” That makes me happy.
I’m far from perfect and pretty proud of the fact that I can comfortably know this while still doing my best. Comfortably knowing it doesn’t stop stage fright in some situations. Prior to stepping into ritual or facilitating a workshop or leading a ceremony I have long moments of jello-insides. I see the equivalent of me walking the red carpet in a gorgeous gown, stepping on the front hem and doing a faceplant. Not a trip and delicate fall, a faceplant with two broken teeth and a bloody nose. Sometimes that stage fright is less intense, sometimes more intense, but it is always there. “What if I am an ass??” the wicked voice in the back of my mind taunts. I know the answer is, “What if you are an ass? Then what?” I’ve learned that the world does not come to a crashing halt, I don’t lose friends or loved ones, and I don’t die of humiliation on the spot. (These were surprises!)
Here I want to show all of myself, even when I am an ass. Because being an ass sometimes is okay. Not being an ass is even better, yes, and I thoroughly enjoy those times (which are far more common than that wicked voice would let on; yet another surprise). When I do a fabulous non-ass job I tend to say it out loud as if hearing it in my own voice makes it true. “We really rocked that!” has been known to come out of my mouth. If when you hear me say that you see a little kid jumping up and down clapping her hands then you’ve got the right picture because that is how inside me feels when I say that. I am really happy to have the mental image of me sprawled on the red carpet picking up tooth chips and wiping a bloody nose on my gown’s sleeve fade away, forgotten until the next time.
So I present here my whole self as I do in my offline life. Sometimes I curl into myself feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes I sit sobbing across the table from you keenly feeling the pain of rejection that I did not take personally yet hurts just the same. Sometimes I bark out a high cackling laugh or a low tight evil-sounding chuckle. Sometimes I soften my voice and speak words of love to you. I try to convey all of that here. No, not your usual religious blog. Doing it this way is scary as hell, but it is one way I have been called to serve. It is the way I know how to be me and to live the oath I choked out, alone, crying against Buffalo two years ago.