Tag Archives: ritual and observance

this too shall pass

(I promise I will blog about writing again eventually. This spate of posts, too, shall pass.)

On Tuesday my apartment’s water heater exploded. It could have been far worse than it was; the manager discovered it quickly (I was at work) and got the flooding stopped, before it reached the corner where all the sensitive electronics live. The cats are alarmed but not hurt.  My bedroom stayed mostly dry. …But it still hasn’t made the week much fun. Tuesday night everything was just soggy and unpleasant (there’s nothing quite like the smell of soaked carpet, and that’s a fortunate thing). Last night the “water damage remediation” guys had been there, which meant most of my stuff had been shoved around into awkward piles (it took some work to get into the kitchen) and there were huge, noisy industrial fans going at full blast. And of course there is no hot water.

I might have had a tiny bit of an emotional meltdown about this last night. Even when you’re old enough to know that life isn’t fair, sometimes it’s still upsetting to find it being enthusiastically unfair in ways that aren’t to your benefit. I… sort of wallowed in that for a bit. But once I’d gotten a glass of water and my composure back, I started to look for the up side. Lilith is a figure who’s been very important to me for years, and one of Her biggest lessons is the will to keep going in the face of hardship. So hey. At least with all of my stuff in piles on the floor in the far corners of my apartment, I have really good incentive to go through it with a critical eye and see what I don’t actually need to bring with me when I move. With everything still comfortably shelved I’m sure I’d be less strict on that front, and then I’d be carrying a bunch of clutter to my new home. I’ll make what I can of this. And tomorrow night, when I have hot water again, I’ll do my best to even be grateful about doing the dishes.

My mom’s mantra for trouble has always been “this too shall pass,” and I rolled my eyes at that a lot as a kid. I didn’t really have the perspective yet, I don’t think — neither a sense of the long game nor an emotional acceptance of the Life Isn’t Fair principle. But it helps now. Sometimes, shit happens. You can’t make it un-happen and there’s only so much you can do to mitigate it; for the rest, you just put your head down and keep going, and remember: Everything that is changes. This too shall pass.

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the new year post

I’ve been on the “meh, New Year’s an overrated holiday” bandwagon for years; I think I was already asleep when 2012 became 2013. But this year I went to a party hosted by some people I count myself very fortunate to have in my life, and joined their traditional celebration. At ten minutes to midnight we put aside all the nerdy card games and genre fiction discussion and everyone got a nice glass of bubbly to toast with (champagne or cider, depending), and then we each took turns saying a few words. People talked about what they’d accomplished in 2013, or what hardships they’d weathered; they talked about what they hoped to see or were working to accomplish in 2014. When each person finished we toasted them. By the time we’d finished the circle, we were in the new year. Just about as simple as ceremonies go, but it did a lot to make the transition feel both celebratory and a serious observance: here you are, in front of the tribe, owning this step in your life and having people honor it.

So that leads into what I want from the new year, I think, in a thematic instead of physical sense: more intention, more ritual, more deliberate action. We are a mythmaking species, which I’ve talked about as a reason that writing stories is important, but it doesn’t have to be only there. We are creatures who make meaning out of the sprawling chaos of the world around us; however we do that, it feeds the soul.

Here’s to the new year. May it be meaningful.

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