Friday, June 26, 2009

The Sea

Welcome, beautiful traveler. I greet you with a soft whisper, like water across sand -- hushed, yet as unstoppable as the tide.

A wave, you know, is the transfer of energy. We see them breaking upon the shore, and we think that they are nothing but the ocean's indecision: forward, retreat, forward, retreat. But that is because we think of waves as moving water, when in fact water is only the medium through which the waves travel.

Each wave is its own phenomenon. It is born of wind or tide and then moves ever forward from the moment of its birth. Its swell may appear indistinguishable, to us, from the swells of its infinite brethren, but it will crest and break in its own unique way as it arrives at the shallows, and it will reach to its own unique height upon the sand as it flows and slows to its final stretch.

Our lives, too, carry energy. And move forward. And seem, at times, to be mere erratic vibrations back and forth.

But we must not fall prey to the illusion that we are mere blind repetitions of a cycle. The world is the medium through which our lives move, just as the sea is a highway to the waves.

By reaching, and reaching, and reaching -- as far and as high as we can go -- we help to give the world its beauty. To remember this is to be at peace: to know that we will end in a cool sigh upon the sand, to the sound of birds and the caress of the sea breeze, with a very blue sky high above.

Thank you, goddess of love, for the sea through which I move.

Lovingly yours,

A devotee

Monday, June 15, 2009

Two Choices

Welcome, beautiful traveler. I greet you with something that I am normally leery of: a dichotomy.

On my jog this evening, I was listening to “Arrows from the Sun” by Therion. I can’t tell you what the song is supposed to mean -- frankly, the lyricist for Therion is pretty whacked out. But I hear the words as an ode to the light of human creativity, so it started me thinking about the choice to create.

As I jogged, I couldn’t escape this conclusion: if we do not choose to create, then we choose destruction. There is no middle ground.

The reason for this is simple. The universe operates on a principle of increasing entropy. Things wear out. They fall apart. That which is useful turns into that which is utter flotsam, if we do not act to maintain it.

It would be nice if we could simply leave things to their own devices and expect them to keep humming along, whether those things might be automobiles, systems of government, or personal relationships. But the truth is that if we don’t expend energy on a regular basis, things collapse.

So we can either choose to create -- to invest ourselves in the world around us in order to prop it up and keep its polish shining -- or we can choose decay, degeneration, and eventual chaos.

And once you recognize this fact, it’s no good complaining about it, because complaint is a destructive force, and destroying, even in an off-handed way, will only leave you empty and likely to engage in other acts of destruction.

So I choose to create. It’s hard, and I don’t always succeed at it. I backslide. I mope. I let myself coast for days at a time. But eventually the truth becomes inescapable: I cannot be happy if I am not bringing some form of light to the world -- even if it’s only cleaning my bathroom or weeding the lawn.

Thank you, goddess of love, for the spark that lets us fight entropy.

Lovingly yours,

A devotee

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Welcome, beautiful traveler. I greet you with an armful of reassurance and a strong hand upon whatever lonely shoulder you may turn my way.

It has been my experience that people are kind of lousy at showing affection. This is not true of all people, of course. My sister and mother and brother are all pretty successfully affectionate. But I have other family members whose affections have always been conditional, and I've been involved with people at various times in my romantic life who've had difficulty showing affection.

And I myself am no wizard at warmth either. I'm bad at consoling people who've had a misfortune. I can never figure out what to write when a coworker loses a family member and the sympathy card goes around for signatures. I get very nervous when saying goodbyes to people who are on that boundary between "friend" and "just an acquaintance." Do I hug them? Do I shake hands? A friend expecting a hug might find a handshake disappointing. An acquaintance expecting a handshake (or just a "see you later") might find a hug overfamiliar. This should not really be a dilemma, and yet I find it vexing on a regular basis.

Still, it seems to me that the most important thing about affection is that we try.

There is a certain good that is done to the world when a friend receives a hug at a moment when he or she really needs it, and I think that creating such a good outweighs the occasional discomfort of an acquaintance who expected only a wave and a farewell.

Yes, affection is a signal, and people can misread it, and all sorts of confusion and disarray can sometimes result. But it makes the world a warmer place, and the world could really use that.

Thank you, goddess of love, for the bravery that it sometimes takes to be affectionate, and for the glow we feel when that bravery brings light into another person's day.

Lovingly yours,

A devotee