When I was a little girl, my momma warned me to fly under the radar. I remember her telling me, all of my life, that folks were gonna want to eat me up with a little salt and pepper or murder me with their fork — t’weren’t no in between on that one. It was the same for her (always a bit more vicious on the female side) and, I expect, for my Gran. As an Aries, a first born (and under the twenty-year Fire Horse sign, at that), I echoed generations of strong, attractive Goddess women. I reckon that sounds real nice to some of y’all. It has been my curse.
You see, I cannot fly under the radar. I have tried, and failed, over and over but my wings need lots of air under them and the sun is just so damn seductive. One of my beloved mentors in my doctoral program wrote once on a paper of mine: you fly too close to the sun, my dear. But it’s always too late when I realize that I flew, right along with you. I thought he had meant for me to land, to cut it out, to chill on the ascent crush–but it’s a might early in the story to tell you the end, ain’t it?
As a teacher of the Craft, I have a precious 2nd level student who is my pride and joy. Now, she (if she had her druthers) would keep me all to herself . . . although she’d be hard-pressed to tell you that. I fight her, tooth and nail, ‘ary time I take on a new member partly on account of she’s selfish with my love and partly on account of she knows I spread myself so thin that I can see my ass through my nose when I look down. (Laws, is she gonna kill me this Friday when she finds out I caved on another one.) I also have a husband who would appreciate a bit more solitary time with me–can’t blame him, ain’t fair–but he also knows that my soul will blacken and rot if I’m not helping, soothing, supporting and feeding enough folks to make the army in Lord of the Rings look like a tea party of sorority girls. I have a sister who has all but dedicated her life to my endeavors, and iffin you asked her, she’d admit she could use a little girl time from her bestie. With a bottle of wine. Then there are sons, one daughter, friends and family that go on and on and on . . .
And there are enemies. But these folks are just those whom I have carved off in an effort to breathe, who then understood that impulse as rejection when it was just self-preservation. No one has enemies as vicious as mine. All were once too close and wanted to eat me with salt and pepper. All now would kill me with their starved fork on account of the lunch line is Closed for Business. My dearest contends that they attempted to cut my wings like a scene in Dogma. I contend that they thought I was a character in Dogma and cut the wrong wing. Whatever.
I don’t know what I’m writing about yet. Hang on.
The Southern Fried Hubby warns me constantly: baby, don’t let them smell you. No one can eat just one. They will never be satisfied. Somehow, I hear my mentor’s warning in this sentence. And yet, I fly up, up, up.
I suppose that the impulse to touch the sun will be my downfall. I reckon it will. And still, I cannot stop the thump in me, cannot assuage the drive to help, to teach, to draw into the dirt a path back to the Sacred source. It’s like . . . a calling. Or, a drug. Or, a Fate.
Just this past year, I was gifted with a purple-lovin’, goddess-thumpin’, blond-bombshell of a sister. One night, long past a tax-payer’s bedtime and with so much still to say to each other, I told her: I spend 11 years in an abusive friendship and this was my only regret of my life. Until now. You are the result, the gift, the proof that those years were just payment for this moment. And, it’s true. My life will forever be marked by over a decade of lies and deceit and black magic back drama . . . That One will never allow me peace. I wish she had just let me FLY.
But all of it, the tears and the blood and the too-present limp of it, were the price that I paid for Cynthia. Her friendship is proof that flying too close to the sun pays off in liquid gold moments against (because of?) the gray, that thunderstorms must give way to the thrust of the Divine and that purple does indeed represent a royalty of spirit.
I still don’t now wtf I am writing about.
Wait. Yes. I do.
When I was a baby, I had a Mammy who told my Momma and my Gran (against the wails and screams of my late afternoon daily grief): Dat baby sleep on her tummy. Put her on her back, you crush her wings. Amen.
*Strangely enough, this blog just got interrupted by my incoming initiate, Jodi. This was her input:
You are like a holiday. We wait for it. If it happened all the time, we would take it for granted.
*Upon further chewing of the fat, she agreed with me about another issue. You can’t assess a charge for this. There is no charge for the Sacred.
Huh. I reckon not. How do we charge for learning from the Great Mother’s thump? Per credit hour? Are you kidding me? Only if it is our Ego we are “leveling up,” Batchildren. I would rather fly closer to a ray of fire than humans can ever bear and know the truth of a dangerous ontology of Divinity than hold a calculated supposition in a glass frame from Walmart. If it always mean that we sacrifice our precious face time, our hands clasped in fleshly attunement, our hearts thumping wildly against the crystallized tick of eternity, then: count me in. Over. And over. I would rather fly.
And so, this is perhaps the most disjointed post I have ever written. If it has been about anything, I suppose the following is it:
1. Flying too close to the sun means that you were brave enough to live, risk, say “fuck it” on a righteous level and no one will ever accuse you of wasting time.
2. Wading your way through the muck and mire of craptastic, abusive friendships is f’ing stupid. But if you do it for an unbearable amount of time, and if your heart was always in the right place, a Goddess will have mercy upon you and throw you an eighties party. In purple. (P.S. TAKE THE GODDESS CURTAIN. You’ve paid enough.)
3. Those of us who give and give and give and give are still listening to our Divine thump and watching waaaay less television. Amen. Pass the sage.
4. You are never going to be “enough” for all people, but you just might end up being someone’s holiday.
5. You get more out of kneeling in the scratch and brittle of the woods than you eva could from an online by-the-credit-hour-course. Although, reading equals brain training. (Shout out to my geek witch babes!) Just don’t forget that something deep inside of you, a quintessence that came before skin, already echoes the Sacred. Feel that? (Right, then. Wanna put a price on it? I didn’t think so.)
6. Life is short and brutal. Fucking fly. Screw that retirement account, that capitalistic urge to make money off the hurt and hunger of innocence and ignorance. Fucking fly.
If Aether is the substance of the ethereal human soul, then let that motha’ go. Who cares what folks think of you? In your last moment on Earth, will that be your concern?
(Enough. I’m back. Soapbox, kicked.)
So. The last thing my mentor said to me (you thought I forgot, huh?) was this:
What the hell? It was I who was scared. Never, ever land babe. Never.
You shouldn’t have worried, Patrick. I plan on burning to a goddamn crisp.