I stopped writing.
There were reasons for the pause.
I needed to get my bearings, figure out where I was, and chart a course forward.
There were other reasons that cropped up along the way.
“Life stuff” – we categorize it, like it were something we could put in a box and slide under the bed, as if we weren’t swimming in it constantly. Drowning even, when the waves catch us by surprise, and we find ourselves gulping for air.
So I stopped writing.
And I stopped reading.
And then there was a combining of households, and boxes to be filled, and what gets sold and what moves to storage, and…, life stuff. Like I said.
But space, like time, was suddenly at a premium.
And the altar had to be put away. All the bits and pieces carefully cleaned and wrapped and boxed. Temporarily. Until I can find the space for them. Make space for them.
I stopped writing, and reading…, and talking.
To the gods.
To the spirits.
To the ancestors.
It’s the easiest thing in the world.
To let it all go, to be what this empty world we’ve created wants us to be.
I used to wonder, from time to time, about the Land of the Dead.
It is a place of dread that figures into so many of our mythologies: a grey void of a place where the dead wander, without purpose or meaning, hungry for the attention of the living. I was never sure I believed such a place could exist. It seemed so far removed from my personal experience of the universe we share.
The Otherworld, I had always been taught, always believed, is reflected in our own mortal realm, just as our world is reflected there. Neither realm is wholly separate from the other, each profoundly present within and throughout the other, and still, for some of their inhabitants, frustratingly out of reach.
But where then, could we see any reflection of those ghostly fields where the dead are said to wander aimlessly?
Where, if not all around us.
Listless – Hungry – Craving.
I have found myself wandering among them in the grey realm from which they’d seek escape, if they only knew that they were trapped. The Land of the Dead is not a mythological construct, not even close.
We’ve built it, floor roof and walls, and we’re constantly furnishing it with all the ‘life stuff’ that we collect along the way.
And it’s not a terrible place to visit, from time to time. We all end up spending time there eventually. The important thing is not to get trapped there. Never forget where you are.
Always be “Just Visiting” – because the alternative…,
So here I am.
Writing again (and it’s harder to get started again, than I would have believed).
And talking (to them, and you).
Still not sure of exactly how to get to where I want to be.
But at least I know where I was, and that’s as good a starting point as any.
Any day now I expect to receive my survey in the mail…,
“Regarding your recent visit to the Land of the Dead.”
I should probably give them a nice review.