Beyond the mountains, more mountains.
I talk about community and the need for one a lot on this blog. In the last year, I have had no less than one entry a month that has some variation on my message regarding the forging of a community. It’s only been in the last year that I’ve finally realized what it is to have a community and why one would need to have one. For most of my life, I’ve been the loner, the outsider, the wallflower. I’ve had friends of course, but I’ve only usually had about one or two people who I could speak with regarding my personal, heartfelt items. It’s not that I’m not social or unable to maintain friendships; I’m just very solitary, introverted, and remote by nature. But, with the forging of my Kemetic community (plus two non-Kemetics) that I’ve realized what it actually meant to have one? And it’s only been with the information Papa Legba dropped in my lap that I’ve realized how important that community is.
Without my community, I honestly don’t know if I’d be nearly as expressive, open, or able to have the religion that I do. I mean, I think I would have kept forging with the basic, “fuck people,” attitude that infused my soul when the tC drama happened last May. But without the encouragement of Devo, Sard, Helms, Dusken, L, Rei, and Jo who are my core components to my community*, then I don’t know if I’d be as far along with this Kemeticism thing as I am today. And honestly, without the knowledge of what a community, a small one within a large one, could offer me, I don’t think I’d be able to understand ma’at as clearly as I do today, either. Without that community, I could not live in ma’at and as much as I’d prefer to have my larger Kemetic community within driving distance, or even my smaller core group within driving distance, the online Kemetic community we’ve forged works well for me.
* This isn’t to denigrate my relationships with the others in that private Facebook group we all belong to – the one that I literally think of when I’m talking of my community at large. But as I mentioned, I’ve only ever gone to a handful of people in my group of friends with items, just as I’m sure the others in that group do with one another, and the ones listed above are my trouble shooters, my cheer leading team, and my closest boat paddlers.
I’ve mentioned before that I have a personal project Papa Legba has wanted me to get going on. I haven’t really had to do much for it because, well, he’s pretty liberal about time frames. As he’s told me before, since I’m not an initiate, things don’t move as swiftly as they would for initiates of a sosyete. I still have to do what it is he wants of me, but the time frame can be more in tune with my personal time frame than a “do it now” time frame that some people have had come from him. I’m blessed in that, I suppose. I’m sure there are a few people who have relationships with the lwa who would like to see such happen with them. The thing is, he’s been pushing a bit about the personal project lately. And I’ve been kind of trying to work it out before I get going.
For two days, I dreamed about driving on a highway. The first dream, I was driving down a highway/tollway with TH. We were just driving and enjoying the day when we came to the toll booth. It was three dollars and I pulled four quarters out of my pocket, placing them in the tape deck in my car (yes, my car is old enough for a tape deck, but it also has a CD player, so) to partially pay our toll. TH threw two dollar bills in the direction of the money catch pocket, which blew away in the wind and off we went. The next night, I dreamed about driving down a highway alone, both at night and during the day. I knew these were messages from Papa Legba as I went to bed, requesting his advice about things and wearing his sacred jewelry to aid me in my dreaming foray.
While pondering the dreams yesterday, I went into my little head space where I can easily meet with gods and lwa. Papa Legba was there, looking like he was some guru. He had his legs crossed and was wearing a white sheet in toga fashion. It highlighted how dark his skin really is. And he smiled at me, his eyes only partially closed. And I said to him, “I could do it now. I could become an initiate now and it would lend weight to our project.” There was more to it because, really, in this place, I rarely speak aloud and neither does he. So it was all conveyed via feelings and imagery, but it works better if I utilize words when I’m telling my story.
But the conversation went something like this,
Papa Legba shakes his head and says, “You will not have a community here.”
And I stare at him, shocked and annoyed. “But why would you do that to me? I finally figure out what it means to have one and you’re telling me that it doesn’t correlate with this shit?”
He sighs heavily at me, trying to convey that he feels the horror and pain that is sparring inside of me. “That’s not your work. That’s not what I want.”
Sniffing back snot and tears, I growl, “But it can be so very lonely.”
He looks up as though asking Bondye for direction here. I’ve always been a whiner and a baby, and I think that irritates him sometimes or maybe, it just hurts him that someone as childlike and naïve as me is someone he has to work with. “Honey-child, the bigger picture is more important than friendships.” And that is when I cry, curling in on my stomach where the pain hurts the most. “Not every path is one that you can walk with others,” he tells me sagely.
I sit up slowly, trying to catch his eye but he’s ignoring my glower. Or, maybe, he’s trying to ignore the tears and snot that streak my face. “Then why have a religion, at all? Why bother having a religion in the first place?”
And he sighs his long-suffering sigh and murmurs, “You always ask the hard questions.”
My day, yesterday, was not a good one. After learning that I’m not allowed to forge a community with other established people on this voodoo path, I got very angry and upset. I felt like all of the work I’ve been putting into the Kemetic community has been for naught. It really doesn’t correlate in all honesty. What I do with one section of my practice has little to nothing to do with the other, unless we’re talking the dedication I bring to both. And in this, it is my dedication that he requires for his work, but that’s not the totality of it.
The work Papa Legba has in store for me has more to do with solitaries, which is why he chose me. As much community as I have in the Kemetic community, I am still de facto a solitary practitioner. And I think it was that title, more than anything else, that drew him to me. Maybe it was always just my loner spirit, my quiet, my introversion, my wallflower persona that made him come to me. It doesn’t matter what the specific reason. On the one hand, it’s nice to know that being so alone and constantly on the sidelines is a good asset and one that he’s wanted in someone for a while. Not only can I bring solitary and dedication to this, I can also bring the tenacity as well as Sekhmet’s inner strength. If those aren’t all an excellent mix for what he wants, then he chose wrong.
And I don’t think he chose wrong.
So, that’s the project. I’m not here to make friends. I’m not here to become initiated. I am not here to twiddle my thumbs. I am on this path because he requires a loud-mouthed, fast-talking solitary practitioner who is willing to explain things, to teach others. That is what the lwa want. They appear to want to branch out, which is borne out in how many people have come to me asking about the lwa, in general and in specific. They want more and I am only a servant able to provide.
In other words…
I have work to do.
And as the title indicates, I can climb over as many mountains as I want, but there will always be another mountain to climb.