There are a great many things I want to say about the events of this past weekend and the sudden changes to my life, changes my mind still hasn't caught up with. For now, however, I'd like to give my thanks to those who have commented here and on MySpace wishing me many happy returns. I had a lovely birthday weekend, and a rather intense one, which I may one day recount in detail but at the moment am still processing. A lot.
It's strange, stepping through a doorway between one phase of life and the next. For many people turning 30 might not be a big deal, or it might involve the usual career-matrimony-life direction angst. After what can only be described as a true Initiatory experience this weekend, I can say in all honesty that the anxiety I was feeling around my age has pretty much vanished. At the moment I seem incapable of anxiety, period.
In fact, for the last few days I have felt a strange, lovely peace descend upon me, and have wandered through this week smiling for no reason, singing to myself, and keeping a near-constant running dialog with the sacred in my head. I feel calm and powerful, fully in my skin, possibly for the first time in my entire life.
And no, it's not just because I got laid. *laugh*
I feel an openness to the future, an optimism that borders on crazy sometimes; at the same time, I find myself grateful for the season, for everything I have learned even in the darkest hours, and for the renewal brought to me on the sweet in-breath of morning. When I extend my hands I can feel the energy moving through the Earth and sky, the ebb and flow of life gathering and diminishing. The world is all ashimmer to my eyes.
It pretty much kicks ass.
Thinking back over my life so far, I realized that far from the endless cycle of mistakes and wrong-turns I thought it was, it has in fact been quite a journey, and when I give myself credit, I see that I've learned a lot already. There are a lot of people who hit this age who haven't come to understand half of what I have--that's not bragging, it's gratitude. I feel fortunate to be me. What an odd thing for me to say!
Will this last? Oh, probably not. But I don't intend to let it slip away, either, before it has put down roots and taken hold in the deepest crevices of my being. I have a sensual, almost sexual affinity for everything my skin comes in contact with. Everything is holy and every breath is a catechism. I don't know what to do with all of this, but I want more of it. I want more of this Sylvan, this powerful, calm woman in love with the world and fully grounded in herself. I want to take off my clothes and make love to my life, swell with the embryonic potential of my being, and give birth to myself in a flood of gratitude.
It may all seem sudden, but this has been building for a while now. I bought this change with great pain, tithed my skin to it. I will not doubt. I will nurture and tend this blossom in whatever way I can until it bears its strange new fruit, and then I will savor it and plant its seeds.
I know this much is true:
Be careful what you wish for, and be even more careful what you actively invoke. Case in point:
(This tattoo is what started it all.)
Don't judge your insides based on someone else's outsides. Outward perfection is often just a cracked glass container full of emptiness. Be glad that you aren't perfect--nobody likes perfect people anyway.
There is meaning in everything, whether or not it is obvious, and if you are open to the Divine you are more likely to see it unfold.
We are each and every one of us a reflection of, an expression of, a manifestation of the love and grace of Deity. God and Goddess wanted to taste ice cream, get licked by a pile of puppies, have sweaty sex, and shiver in the Autumn rain--but They have no hands, no skin. We are Their hands, we are Their skin. They live through us. Their sanctity finds its expression through us. We enact Their miracles, and mete out Their grace. Thus, there is nothing we do that is not holy. All is ritual. All is magic.
The face you present to the universe is the one the universe responds to. If you act and speak positively, and act out of love, love will find you. If you walk around hating on everything, joy has a harder time finding its way in. The face you present to the universe is also the one your soul responds to; you can change yourself both inside out and outside in. Intention is marvelous, but act in accord. Want the world to be a better place? Don't just OM it, OM it and then get out there and help make it happen. Change must occur on all levels to last.
At the same time, never try to change anyone. Don't convert--inspire. Give people someone to look up to and something to aspire to, and let them find the path on their own terms. This is how we change the world: we change ourselves, and let the beauty we find and the holiness we become speak through us, through our actions and through our compassion.
We are cells in the body of the Earth, and we are guests in Her house. Wipe your feet. Try not to break anything, don't leave a mess, and fill the ice trays before you leave. Always take a trash bag along when you go to the beach or the park. Maybe you didn't drop that beer can in the bushes, but do you want to be the person who saw it and then left it there?
At the end of the day ask yourself: Did I live as if this entire day was a work of art? A miracle? An adventure? A prayer? If you didn't--and there will be days when you don't--ask yourself, how will I do better tomorrow?
Did I forget anything? Oh, yes:
Goddess loves you, and so do I. Pass it on.