I have absolutely no godsdamned idea what I am going to write right now, but the beerfaeries were all like “OH HEY YOU SHOULD STRING WORDTHINGS TOGETHER AND MAKE SOUNDNOISES TIPPYTAP ON KEYBOARD MACHINE”.
So here I am. Tippy tap. Stringy words. A good set of words, strung, I think, as fractured pearls on a lacy bit of sinew braided around some vocal cords.
So anyway, words. Patience. Judgment. Suspension — as in, suspend judgment, through application of patience — and finding the Humility to shut the fuck up (inside and out) so that your Experiences can speak for themselves.
We try so hard as fleshy material earth babies to paint pretty wordthings and labelforms upon All The Things, as if the greatest gift that the gods gave us was the ability to come up with clever names for things. And you know what? Maybe that’s true. Or maybe it’s a load of horse shit. (But even horse shit has its uses.) But here’s my thinking on this fucking thing: we name things because this makes us feel like we own them. We really like to own things. We’re fleshy material earth babies, after all, so we get fucking engorged on the idea of ownership and control.
I once read something in a famous author’s blog — probably Neil Gaiman, given that his is the only blog I ever remember reading — about a trick to up your chances of getting a short story published. Submit it without a title. An editor will read it, and if it’s any good at all, they’ll start fishing around in their headmeat for a title. Why? Because we fucking love to stake ownership on things. And, editors spend an awful lot of time reading shit, but maybe it’s a fucking sparkly gemstone in their week to get to make a thing they’re reading and possibly publishing uniquely their’s by pissing out a title on it, all helpful like. I have no idea if this works in the publishing world. (I also love editors, so, if any are reading this — please don’t be offended. I’m sure you only rarely piss on short story submissions.)
So anyway, pissing on things– I mean, titling things, labeling things — is a way that we gain control over them. Like slapping a big tattoo “PROPERTY OF ME, BITCHES” across a slab of meat or tagging the side of a building with your graffiti dick shot or whatever, we label the shit out of things so that everyone out there (or at the least, all those pesky doubting Thomasii in our own godsdamn head) shut up and recognize how fucking sparkly our crowns and thrones and scepters are. I mean, we fucking named that shit. That’s like, a step above predicting it, and way better than actually doing anything, right? Because only provincial peasant stock do things, whereas naming shit takes something special, amiright? You need to have some kinda unique vision and shit to name shit, even if your list and allotment of names are totally taken from pop-culture or some book you maybe read the inside flap of once, (or took inside to fap to, as in the case of most Jungians I know).
(…I’m just kidding, I don’t actually know any real Jungians.)
So here’s a novel fucking idea: stop
fapping labeling things, learn some fucking patience, and let your experience of shit do the talking. You don’t need to stop naming shit altogether, but humanity’s over-dependence on neatly tagging and cataloging and labeling everything in sight is sort of obsessive and probably born of some major self-confidence issues. What is it that is so terrifying about not knowing what a thing is called, or where it fits?
In a recent entry I did my best answer a reader’s question about my experiences with the divine, and I mentioned spending years never knowing the names of my gods, even when They claimed me physically, completely, wholly. Since then there’s been some great dialog (both in public and private settings) and a lot of feedback from others who similarly didn’t have names for their gods and spirits and experiences right off. Oh hey, it turns out, real things don’t come with #hashtags or whateverthefuck that stupid trend is. Sometimes you need to just shut the fuck up, experience a thing, and accept that it may take years to figure out what it was about or what it was called or who it was or whatevethefuck. And sometimes, seriously? You never fucking know. And that’s fucking fine, too.
Often I get questions from people saying “Hey, I think that [insert a deity’s name here] has contacted me. How do I know if this is real?” . Tess Dawson wrote a good piece today that serves as a great introduction to this process. Here’s a great fucking passage from that:
“But be patient; sometimes it takes us a while to get to things. I know it feels urgent, and in some respects it is. Sitting with uncertainty is an unsettling feeling and it increases the sense of urgency. Take a deep breath and try to go into that uncertainty, acknowledge it, sit with it a while, and know that it will resolve…and often lead to even better questions. The harder you push against that uncertainty, the worse it feels; in contrast, the more you breathe into it and acknowledge it, and see it as an opportunity, the more you have to gain from it..”
And just because, here’s some words from another great writer, on breathing through shit:
Tune in at 2:44 in case the direct link doesn’t work
Or if that’s too 80’s for you:
Jump ahead to 0:22 for some shirtless passing-through.
“I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.”
For most of us though, that’s too fucking hard. So instead we fail to suspend our judgments and labels and we fail to embrace patience in the face of fear of the uncertain and unknown and therefore we climb ever higher up the mountain of human arrogance and assume it our place to name the unknowable in the pursuit of making it more conveniently packaged for human consumption.
Well, fuck you, for that. And fuck me, too.
My gods are not for human consumption.
I’ll take a ditch of festering shit and carrion to those heights any day, never knowing a damn thing, with no name to utter out in prayerful desperation through cinch-dried throat and suntorn lips.
Because it is not my place to name the gods. It is my place to know them as they are, not as repackaged rebranded models that fit nicely on my fucking shelf. It is my job to be taken to the edge of madness — and over it and through it and off the fucking cliff of it if that’s what They want — and it is my job to let Them lift me back up again, or recognize that this time I’m supposed to bloody myself on the cliffside making the climb on my own, inspired hand-over-hand by Their fucking glory and the beauty of it all.
I don’t like labels. I find them to be the default position of the lazy and the mediocre. I find them to be the currency of the tragically sheltered. I find them to be the expectation of the privileged elite who can’t be bothered to acknowledge an authentic experience because, well shit, aren’t they excluded from that sort of dribbly nonsense? Aren’t we all fucking entitled to just have shit served up to us, prefabricated in its entire conceptualization with the answers all filled in and the t’s dotted and the eyes crossed and some fucking mustaches already scrawled across dead presidents on our greenbacks? Shouldn’t our world come pre-worn, factory-distressed, and ready for chic fucking image-propulsion through our bullshit facade pulled up like smothering plastic over the face of raw, wild, bloody Creation?
Tippity tappity tippity tappity. Word strung together on cords and sinew and whateverthefuck. Have a good night.