An old story popped into my head this afternoon about mountains, snakes and starting over. While I understand that SKW doesn’t usually post more than once per week, this little ditty just took a ride through my blood–it was asking for it. Let’s knaw on a little regret, past lives and what love has to do with it. Wanna?
His name doesn’t matter anymore. All that matters is that, at the time, I thought the loss would wrench me down to a bloody puddle, or more likely (and even worse) that I would always feel the way I did the day he drove away in the snow. But that’s the way of evolution in the soul: bone-crushing, alienating, chilling change. I teach my students a little quote by John Fiske that goes something like: “the greatest potential for change occurs only under the greatest pressure and pain.” Ain’t that a pain in the ass? Now, I know y’all know what I mean. A body at rest tends to stay at rest–lessen it’s acted upon by an outside force. Well, hell yeah! Everything else stings, becomes an uncomfortable road and just outright work. We have all the time in the world, right?
As pagans, we have all the lives in the world to relive, reforge and re-battle those little hills. And that’s the problem.
It makes us lazy. Incompetent. But not better. My momma taught me, a very long time ago, that if we don’t work out shit out here–here, today, where we pay the light bill–we are destined/doomed/whatever to be faced with the exact same little monster in the next life. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it, yes? Then why, I wonder, do we continue on to the same page, like GroundHog Day, over and over? Then it hit me: we expect different results. Ah. Damn. I was hoping for something a little more Atheist. 🙂
The more I sip this wine, the more I ponder: then why, oh why, do we keep trying to WORK IT OUT? Holy Moses, I think I’m onto sumpin’. If something/someone has never worked out, never brought you peace, never fueled your dreams or bought your chairs, then why would you walk right back up to it (this life or the next) and holler do you want to play a game? (Excuse the eighties reference here . . .) Do we really assume ourselves omnipotent? Capable and skillful enough to work someone or something else’s demons out, through and through? I have to admit, now, this was a mule slap on this old witch when it hit–hard, fast, a bit brutal. I had forgotten something critical and primal: I have a choice. Remember War Games? The computer that did not know how, much less when, to just f-ing stop? No winner. No winner. Play again?
Hell, naw. End game.
(I know y’all think I’ve forgotten that story about mountains and snakes. Hold onto your skivvies. I’m just getting started.)
You know, there truly is a fine line between love and hate. As long as I am harboring anger, resentment, whatever–it’s the flip side of a fired copper coin, man, called love. I guess this post is about psychically divorcing another soul, or a dream, or a failure, or a career . . . anything else is engagement, pure and simple. And you die like that, coin in hand, ready to pay again the next little trip through the mystic. Do you really want to? Ride again? Are you sure? Well, shit. Then just go on and do it now. Otherwise . . . might wanna bury that penny. I hear copper is just damn fine for garden soil and keeps the slugs out.
I rode down a mountain once, broken and bruised and crazy mad with anger. Strange, I thought for years to myself, that I cannot stop dreaming of nightmares and nightmaring about dreams. Strange that I cannot find love. Strange that I felt so strange. Hmmm. Took a while to figure out that, when faced with the loss of someone I loved, I had turned the love to hate–holding on to the one beating live thing that was left on my porch that day. Took a bit longer to figure out that it looked, smelled and farted like love. There was only one way out.
I had to stop loving it.
Now, I can hear you: wtf? I cannot do that. It’s natural. It’s organic. You cannot turn love off like a tap in a restroom.
Are you sure? Or are you holding on?
Let me help you here–if revenge is your game (I can hear you, Momma–hold on, I’ve got a plan) then try this one on your cold steel plate: neutrality is a bland meal. Turning a nightmare into just another House episode is an insult. Not giving a shit can save your soul.
It was an older woman, let’s call her Virginia, who saved my ass once when it was all in a twist. She leaned in and let me in on her secret for contentment: love them, or let them lie. Never expend your energy on hate. It’s a boomerang. If you hate someone that much, might as well take off your panties and crawl in the bed with them.
Now. Wanna do that for eternity? Didn’t reckon so. Lay it down. It’s gonna’ whine and bitch, try to incite hate/love out of you like a starving dog for a bone. Lay it down. Ain’t your back tired yet?
You thought I forgot about the snake on the mountain, didn’t you? Naw. I was just taking my time. I wrote a short story about leaving that mountain, lactating and broken, and somewhere in the intro I wrote this: “rattlesnakes sliding down Sand Mountain like black rain.” SKW’s Momma read my story and promptly had my ass with: “rattlesnakes are brown, girl. Get it right. It matters.” Preach it. I had given those snakes an insidious power in my memory, holding onto the fear and agony in unholy ways that had changed my perception about my experience, my evolution and even their real color. They’re fucking brown. Oh. Well, then. Slap my face and call my drama, I think Momma was onto something.
And so, I bought rattle for my keychain. But wait–we still have an ending, y’all.
That pivotal moment, chock full of Dallas/90210 tears and whatnot, pushed my lazy, stagnant energy to change, evolve–and so, a high-school dropout went to college, became Dr. Seba, found the love of her life and a daddy for that baby nobody wanted. I became ME.
And all it took was laying it down.
To quote my favorite line from the move The Color Purple, somebody’s trying to tell you sumpin’. Let’s sail into the Mystic, shall we, with only that which has been affirming to our souls. If Love can be Hate, let’s choose the former–or leave it for the worms. Next time, I wanna’ be baggage free.