Note: I know this first part is something my long time readers have read before. He’s asking me to start at the beginning, so…
I was a pretty morbid child. As a pre-teen and into my early teenage years, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would tell you that I wanted to be a medical examiner. I had no delusions about medical school or anything like that, but it was the most morbid and depressing thing I could think of to answer that question, which is partially why I said it. The other reason was because I had a fascination with death after the early death of my father that came out in very strange and weird ways. It was because of this that I ended up taking anatomy and physiology my senior year in high school (and also because I desperately needed that science credit to graduate). To this day, I still have a bit of a thing for the biological and health sciences, but not to the point where I would tell anyone that, if I had been smart enough to plan my future better, I would have ended up in medical school and would have become that medical examiner I used to profess to wanting to be.
However, my secret and most fervent desire was, actually, to be a writer. Since I was pretty sure I wasn’t a very good author of anything, I never really said I wanted to be a writer out loud. You had to be legendary and awesome in order to publish things to the public. While I have some poems published because of high school, I tend to believe that’s just because there are not a lot of decent teenage poets out there and because my teachers had slim pickings. The thrill of having things in a book is still something that can elicit titillating giggles from me, but I’ve long since given up on hoping and dreaming. Now, I mostly write in this blog and if I begin to work on stories, it’s mostly as a way to pass the time. I can create an entire universe and do the research necessary to make that universe work out properly, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is ever going to read it.
Let’s be honest here: the reason I let the dream of being a writer take backseat to everything is purely selfish. It is because I wasn’t positive I could be successful that I didn’t bother. To me, what was the point in the attempt if I couldn’t make something out of it? I didn’t just want to be a writer so that I could say, “I write for a living,” but I wanted to be successful at it. I suffered from big fish, little pond syndrome (That is when you are the most popular, well loved, awesome-est person at a school, a job, etc. You may be all of those things at the place you are currently, but if you get to the next level, will you still be as beloved as you are now?) when it came to my writing. Everyone ever said that my writing was “wonderful.” They all told me how “good” everything was. I’ve gone back through my writing from those years and I can tell you: nope, nope, nope. And while a writer can be the most critical reader of their own writing, I knew that whatever I was writing wouldn’t necessarily make me successful.
So, why bother?
And that “why bother” attitude has followed me through the years.
With my secret desire banked in my fiery heart, it really wasn’t surprising to find Djehuti on my doorstep. In fact, from the first that I began looking into paganism as a whole, and Kemeticism in minor, I figured that the patron deity I would end up with would be Djehuti (since at that time Sekhmet was off the table for reasons). The whole thing made a lot of sense, though. I liked writing, he was a god of that. I liked to read, there was a connection with reading to him in some form or another. All joking aside, I’m really not kidding when I thought that Djehuti would end up as my patron deity. The fact that he only just showed up and I’ve been able to ignore him, successfully, for nearly five years is a personal best for me.
The thing is that if you ignore something, particularly a god, they will start to make things a little harder and then a lot harder until you can’t ignore them anymore.
Djehuti is a fan of just showing up randomly and talking to me about I could be writing and yet I’m not. We have this discussion about twenty times a day.
D: You should be writing.
Me: I’m driving…?
Or, if not like that, then it goes something like this.
D: You should be writing something.
Me: I don’t really have anything in my head to write that isn’t a blog entry.
D: Oh, no. We’re not blogging. That isn’t what I mean.
Me: But, that’s all the time I have for.
D: Then make the time.
Me: I don’t have the spoons to be up at X o’clock to be writing.
D: You should really be writing, you know.
To say that he is tenacious about whatever he wants is a complete understatement. If he doesn’t get what he wants, he’ll sit back for a little while and then come back in full gear. With his writing engine roaring in my ears, the conversations turn to one word, clipped responses very similar to how one of my co-workers will remind us to update our repair tickets in the program we use.
Me: I know–
Me: I hear you, but–
Me: I can’t–
Me: Look, please, just–
Me: Would you–
I’m not really used to this kind of behavior, which is why I normally will infer heavily that Djehuti is a troll.
When Sekhmet wants something, she tells me that I need to do it and that if I don’t I will suffer the consequences. I’ve ignored her enough times to know what kind of consequences she is referring to that I just do whatever she needs me to do. I may not like it *cough* shadow work *cough* and I may not think that it’s a good idea *cough* getting to know new deities *cough* but I will do it because I remember those long, dark periods where I ignored her desires. I’m not willing to go back down that road again [with her] especially after all of the strides I’ve made to move forward. So, I do what she wants, usually in a general time frame, and leave it at that.
However, with Djehuti? There is no time frame. There are no consequences. There is only him, constantly telling me what I need to do. But, where as Sekhmet will generally tell me why or allow me to figure it out on my own (because it’s obvious), Djehuti won’t sit down and tell me why my writing is so important. I have to figure that out on my own.
About three or four days ago now, Djehuti turned the volume up on his desire. It was very strange. While I was sitting at work, doing what it is that I do in front of my dual screen desk, I had this intense desire to sit down in front of a short story that I wrote in high school and just re-read it. There was nothing to do with writing except, perhaps, to add some minor edits to sentence structure or something of that nature. It wasn’t that I wanted to write but that I just wanted to fall back into the mindset that the story can give to me. (I don’t know if this is true of other writers, but when I go back to re-read some of the work that I wrote in high school, I get transported to the mindset of the high school student who wrote it or I get transported directly into the world that I had once created so that I can see if what I have written correlates with what I saw in my head… if that makes sense.) It was so intense that I couldn’t actually not do it – I had no choice.
So, I went into the story, which lowered the volume so to speak. And Djehuti was quite pleased that he had found a way to get me to do something that he wanted me to do – since you know, I’m a consummate ass and can put things off indefinitely if I’m so inclined – and that I was working on this short story in particular. In doing what he wanted, it made me realize that I was very, very, very sad about not being able to spend an entire night in front of my computer, listening to the radio, and creating an entire world or universe in that single night. It also made me wonder what it was that made him choose this story. It’s very old (about 13 – 14 years old) and it’s very poorly written in comparison to my writing style now.
Since that night, I’ve been thinking about this profoundly in every waking moment that I have. Why this story? Why now? What is it about it that makes the desire so intense? Why have I been breathing this short in my off moments? Why have I allowed it overtake me? What is it about this. particular. story. that Djehuti needed me to pay attention to?
Yesterday, while driving to work, I began to have a bit of an epiphany that was put on hold for the rest of the day because of reasons.
This is when I realized that all of my gods are slowly but surely working together to get the things they want out of me, which is namely shadow work right now. I have been planning, and I may have mentioned it here, on a new series that detail my high school shenanigans and all of the really shitty things that impact me still, to this day. This particular short story was written in high school and the main characters are based off of me and an ex that I had from back then. When I had that realization, the music oracle (or Djehuti) came on in and played nothing but songs that remind me of this ex and let me tell you, I was not happy. (I shut off the radio.) This is when I heard Djehuti laughing uproariously and when he said, It took you long enough.
Djehuti is yet another layer for the gods to ensure that I get around to doing what I intend to do. Now, I’ve been putting off this bit of shadow work for reasons that have to do with my last batch of shadow work, but I am going to be doing it. However, I was having some minor issues on how, exactly, to write back that far without having anyone to help me remember. (As anyone who read my last series may remember: I had to ask the Sister repeatedly for information on things that happened with my ex-husband that I purposely forgot.) I don’t need anyone if I have stories that detail my emotional state of mind from back then, now do I? And apparently, Djehuti is a constant reminder – an obnoxious reminder – to get going with it already. So, now, I have visions of my gods doing one of those carefully choreographed water dance things that all end up with me doing what they want in the middle.
But, while all of that is very important information to have for the next batch of shadow work I have planned, it’s really only a very minor thing. It’s not even the thing; it hardly qualifies as little more than a “huh” moment. The important part was the reminder–
I don’t really do things that relax me. I have items that make me feel better about things or that will calm me down after a lot of really shitty days in a row. I will occasionally take a hot, warm bath while I read a book, which is calming. I go grave-tending as many Saturdays as I can before the weather turns too hot or too cold, which soothes me. I shuffle Tarot cards without any real reason because the sounds calm my nerves. Sometimes, I will just go driving around pretty landscapes and listen to really loud music. This is the sum total of what I do that “relaxes” me, that makes me feel human, that reminds me that I belong in this body, in this time, and while things can get really bad that doesn’t necessarily mean that I should give up.
Writing is something that used to relax me. If my entire high school world was falling apart, I could jump into the middle of a story, or start a new one, and things would be okay. I could make those characters suffer the worst possible injustices that my teenage mind could think up and have everything work out okay. I could escape into fantasy, horror, and love from a youthful writer’s perspective to get away from the constant drag of a depressive phase that was pretty much constantly from 13 to 19. And when things got bad between my ex-husband and I, I could just jump into a new series of stories and make the lives of my characters as wonderful or as bad as I deemed fit. The act of creation was what soothed me. The act of writing was what made me calm after a bad fight, a bad night, a bad whatever.
That’s the point.
That’s the important bit.
I am so busy working and raising a child and living with my boyfriend and seeing to everyone else that I kind of forget that I am important, too. There is always something that I must do that is household related, whether it is cleaning or it is bill paying or it is tucking my son in or it is walking the dog. Or. It doesn’t matter what the things I have to do are because they are all necessary and they’re the usual batch people have to do when they live on their own and/or have a family. And I am so damn important because I am what makes this household run, financially and mentally and emotionally. I know that I am important, consciously, but subconsciously is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish that is kind of beyond my control. And in being important that means that my needs and desires need to be met, as well, on a personal, relaxing, intimate level.
And they aren’t.
But, you know what?
Writing. Writing is enough to make me feel better for a little while and it is enough to get me out of the doldrums of reality for a while. Writing is an important part of who this soul named Aubs is. And that, my friends, is something Djehuti needed me to figure out on my own.