Wanderings, Preface

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The Time Before You Leave

3 September, 2013 

My higher-mind functions are a bit off currently. I’ve been thinking about this as it relates to the binary thinking of sane/mad, spiritual/mundane. The last couple of days at work I wrote extensively in my spare moments, which were few as there were people screaming (always people screaming) and it was my last continuous access to both a computer and a printer.

The essay I was trying to write was regarding Madness and Belief. If I ever finish it, I’ll post it. Suffice for now to say that I’ve been working on a conceptual framework and a theory as to why there was such an initial resistance within my mind when I started encountering the Other.

This statement isn’t completely true–the resistance was more social than mental: that is, I more needed to check with others (constantly) that what I was seeing, sensing, hearing, dreaming and feeling did not qualify as madness, regardless of how otherwise quite well-trained I am in recognising the signs of mental imbalance in others.

Last night was my final shift as a low-level, underpaid social worker for a homelessness agency. Not altogether bad, I guess, though I’m utterly relieved to be free of it. One of the clients dressed in drag and prophesied for me (a strange experience in itself, which goes back to my attempts to find the precise line between the insane and the spiritually-aware): I am to have sex on the steps of a cathedral, and if I do not wish to take a plane, the woman who comes down from the stars will take me up, he said. Another particularly mad client told me that, instead of going to France, I should go to Florida.

Speaking of Florida (strange woman), I have an extensive contingency plan in case I find myself not staying in Europe. This involves hitting much of the east coast and then crashing with my sister in south florida for awhile until–well, I can barely plan a week ahead, so such a question is useless to ask.

The possibility of staying has come up a few times in other’s readings of my situation, though my own divinations make it rather clear I’m to return for some reason. I’ve been joking it will be with an army.

Washing my tent. I went to a Radical Faerie gathering in Beltaine, and because I was perhaps the only fag who went for the pagan part of the pagan-sex aspect of the gathering, the forest gave me an STD anyway: poison oak. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this to many, but I think I laid a towel down on a patch of it and then dried my entire body after an open shower in a field. My entire body.

The doctor, otherwise professional, could not stop cringing and laughing sympathetically when he saw how incredibly large certain areas had become.

So, on the off-chance some of the oil from the plant remains in the tent, I washed it. Simultaneously sorting through the stuff I intend to take. I am stubbornly leering at my journals, willing them to become a bit lighter, as I refuse to not take every one of them.

4 September, 2013

I packed my bag and everything fits. I can say with almost complete confidence that I’m not forgetting anything, that everything I need will be inside that bag. If all goes well, it might even make it to Europe with me.

I’ve been really into the idea of story for most of the last decade, but it’s taken on a new meaning and power for me since beginning druidry. The first grade, the Bardic grade, focuses much on learning the uses of story, the hidden meanings woven into certain sacred myths, and the stories that can be told about the mundane which infuse the world with the existence of the Other.

And the last couple of weeks have seemed much about completing stories, ending them, or at least closing circles of the worlds contained within that story so that it’s unwoven threads do not snag or fray. Particularly as I am leaving this city and have no intentions of returning, these stories, which are also the stuff of my dreams, the material of my meaning, have each paraded themselves before me as if to say, “write my ending.”

The psychological way of putting this is “getting closure.” I dislike the sterility of the term, but it’s another useful way of understanding what I mean.

I’ve had two deep, profound loves while in Seattle. I’ve had many loves, each of them beautiful and meaningful, but the ones where you decide to write your story with another, when two people decide not just to love and fuck and care for each other but to co-create their worlds–that is what I mean by deep, profound love, and of these I have two.

The most recent one ended last winter, and it’s been a little difficult to narrate that story into completion and, more so, narrate that story into my life now without letting the sadness of its ending stain its threads. Also, funny thing about me that I’ve recently recognised–the ideas of love lasting forever and the notion of a lover being “enough” for one (that is, monogamy) have always held intense sway over my heart, simultaneous to me being quite the prophet of open-relationships and knowing that all things must end for them to have ever begun.

A lover isn’t just a partner or a friend, he’s a fucking world, a dream incarnate, a canvas upon which you paint your desires, a spring from which you draw your inspiration, a wind which carries upon it hope. The unraveling of that kind of love is always difficult, and it’s even harder to write the ending of those stories than any other.

The most recent lover and I met for a final time last night and made dinner together like we used to, ending it with hot cocoa (an old roommate sagely saw this as code for “you’ve just had sex, huh?”, just as the cooking of a specific meal heralded that we were having a “spend-the-night-friend,” though this hot cocoa was merely what it was). It was an old pattern, soaked in meaning, but fraught with nothing except kind recollection. And we both told each other I think what was most necessary to hear–we shall remember the other always in love, with no hurt or sorrow or “what if,” just in love.

The previous lover, a wild, dream-filled 9 year affair, reminded me in an email yesterday that I will be leaving for France very close to the time when he and I returned from France roughly 9 years ago. He’s right, and this is another way in which stories exist–those that have ended sometimes have sequels. It’s a principle of magic that certain things have correspondences in other things, that certain patterns from the past affect the patterns of the future, that certain events in the future redeem certain events in the past.

And so it is, then. Some stories end, some stories wait to be finished, some stories wait merely for more chapters. I’m going to several places that I’ve been before, places where a certain sense began to speak to me deeply. Many of my dreams have returned to this place, and sometimes I wonder if I haven’t been spending most of the last decade attempting to understand what the hell that strange beckoning meant, why everything felt so odd yet so familiar, why I remember specific places there more vividly then I can remember what I had for dinner the night before.

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