Sunday, October 28, 2012

Duct Tape and Bailing Wire: The Fixing of a Thing With the Spiritual Equivalent, or at Least Trying.

Dear Readers, if you are from the Southern United States, then you know that there is nothing that can not be fixed with duct tape and bailing wire and if it can't be fixed it's junk and needs to be trashed.  Our pagan communities can be fixed with spiritual duct tape when they need to be and they should never, ever just be tossed out with the trash as some are wont to do.

I make no bones about the fact that I come from a pretty well functioning community.  It's like one of those families that frighteningly close in public and everyone thinks they really like each other.  Our pagan community is our family.  We have those whom we are very close to, both in age and in training, as well as our elders, who are like the parents, and the children, the next generation of pagans.  We have those whom we respect, but may not really see eye-to-eye with and we have those whom we may just simply avoid because of personality conflicts.  It simply is the nature of community and the nature of family.  However, I am coming to find out that there are communities out there which are like my own blood family.  I, jokingly, say that we put the funk in dysfunctional.  We aren't close and we don't really act like we like each other too much, but somehow, it works.  We come together and have a good time on occasion and it simply works in a strange and round about way.

My current pagan community saddens me.  It is somewhere between 5,000 and 25,000 pagans in size and I know or have met maybe two dozen of them.  I have heard that there was a time when this particular place had community, a hell of a community.  Through the years, though, something (maybe things) happened and those people and their groups began to slip from the light and back into the shadows.  This community shattered like a beautiful mirror into nothingness.  There was no one to pick up the pieces, maybe no one willing to do so.

Then, some friends and elders of mine ended up here, smack dab in the middle of this community.  Then, other friends did the same.  All the while I was training and learning and enjoying being 'one of the kids' in my pagan family.  Then, personal tragedy struck (well, I thought it was tragic at the time).  For the second time in two years, my whole life imploded.  My partner at the time tossed me out of the house on my ear for no good reason.  I was nearly homeless.  I had just quit my job to help him with his small business full time, and I had very little money.

The Gods were rearranging everything!  Then, through a series of circumstances that I would have called strange were I not a magical person, I found my path pointing north, to Missouri and to my friends.  I'd figured out that my path, long-term, is going to involve the healing arts in some way.  I wasn't prepared to also work at community building and healing those kinds of wounds.  (Still don't think I am!!)

Those things said, here I am, trying to find my place within a community wrought with anger, hurt, and despair.  Daily I ponder just how someone like me, someone trained well, but just really starting down this clergy path, is supposed to affect any change.  I'm just one person.  Not just that, but I'm just one person in a sea of hurt caused by events which happened in some time long past.

I know what it's like to hold on to hurt.  I know what it's like to allow that hurt to overwhelm and eventually stop me, frighten me, and cause me to run quickly the other way.  I know how damaging holding on to that hurt is.  It's like an asthma attack, you want to take a deep breath, but you simply can't.  Maybe the Gods want me here for those who wish to let go.  Maybe not.

I know this: I have been given a good support system of Elders.  I have been given a wonderful, supportive partner.  I have been given some very difficult life experiences, which can be used as reference points.  I have also been given a pretty thick skin because of these experiences.

It also seems that the Gods have handed me duct tape and bailing wire of some spiritual kind.  Now, I am getting out, trying to be more active, and getting myself out there.  I don't know if I will succeed or if I will fail.  I don't know what will happen, or even if anything will.  I do, however, know that I am here for some purpose.  I have donned the target of a leader.  Now, I must do something with it.  Am I scared?  Yes.  Am I going to let that stop me?  No.

When I think about my fears, I think of my Elders like Terry and Sonya.  They have poured their blood, sweat, and tears into their communities.  They have done the shit work when no one else would.  Both I have heard say:

Some will.  Some won't.  So what.  Next?

They have worked tirelessly with little or no help, with little or no thanks.  They have taught me that true leaders do that, work without thanks and do so with joy in their hearts.  Now, it is time for me to step off of the proverbial stoop and begin my own work with the community.  I have faith that my Gods will clear me a path, no matter how small and riddled with stones it may be (it wouldn't be any work if there weren't obstacles, now would it).  I know that my Elders will catch me when I fall, or let me fall and then ask me if I learned my lesson.

Mostly, I know that there is work to be done and I know that no one is doing it.  I know that people have seen the same things for so long that they think it is the only way and it is not.  May the Gods guide my purpose and my work and may it be seen for what it is by those who need it.  So mote it be!

Brightest Blessings, my friends!

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