Tag Archives: R

What do you do?

What do you do when you persistently experience something extremely important regarding your god that runs counter to the experiences of everyone else?

The majority of the advice I’ve found says that it likely means that this bit of UPG is wrong, and I should try to readjust my vision/ears/memories. It is not completely personal, but I often find “peer-corroborated” things highly questionable as a verification when the peers are close to each other.

I do not, in any way, experience or know Freyr as a god who dies or is sacrificed at the harvest or for the blessing of the earth, or who was at one point or another to end a terrible famine, or someone who is dead for three days and returns.

I also do not experience him as someone who changes very much from season to season, though for lack of a better word, he does seem to “glow” brighter in the summer, and the ways in which he connects to the earth (in the sense of the ground, the things that grow or lie dormant in it, in whichever place) shift in ways that seem in line with how people themselves used to change, and how animals change. There are different things to do; there is time to plant, to grow, to gather, to rest.

He is, to a certain extent, quieter in terms of energy and activity. In the summer, he was always doing something; he was outside all of the time, going off to visit people, riding his horse [at terrifying speed, to me] through field and meadow, and laughing with the pure pleasure of it.

He is most often at home, these days, and people come to him, or he spends his time with those closest to him, such as his family. There is more meat and heavier foods, root vegetables, and things that can be kept for the winter, on his table, than the large amounts of green vegetables and fruits of the summer, and the breads and squashes and other things in the autumn.

His apparent death and rebirth are what everything to do with him these days seems to revolve around — it is the central point of his entire modern mythos and cultus. There is nothing more important, in the eyes of the people who revere him.

And it doesn’t even exist for me. It doesn’t happen. It feels deeply wrong to me.

I’ve spent the last several months feeling like I should not or could not talk about anything to do with him, because either I was wrong about everything, or whether or not I was wrong about everything, anything else I said would be valueless because if I am insisting that water is not wet, why would anyone pay attention if I said it was snowing?

I’m either insane or my perceptions are so warped that they should all be discarded whole. There’s little point in trying to sift out something that isn’t crazy or completely wrong that happens to come out of my mouth.

“Well, say,” Brand offered, flopping down on my blanket, “that if it is Really Really For Extra Real for the entire rest of the multiverse, including him, is it impossible that your version of him doesn’t, because one must not.”

The nature of the multiverse is such that everything is possible and everything exists, somewhere — for every choice you make, another universe springs into existence where you made the other, etc, and so there are infinite varieties of everything. This is not the same as thinking that all gods are manifestations of one ultimate god, or something like that; there is no One True You in the multiverse; there are infinite yous. This may or may not be true of gods — while it may be for some, I know it isn’t for all; I know at least one god who absolutely only exists once and exists simultaneously in all universes (this god is not the God of Everything, for the record), and know of others who seem to have multiple versions from different universes.

“You need an apologetic bumper sticker that says SORRY, STRING THEORY JUST WORKS FOR ME,” Brand said. I don’t know how to drive, but apparently that is not an impediment to needing a sticker.

“I think that may actually just make everything worse.”

“Why? The Everyone already believe gods have myriad faces that they show their followers as they deem convenient or desirable.”

“Those are faces that one singular-unto-itself god possesses,” I said.

“And their worlds would end if there were actually many of that god?”

“Probably. Witness the massive kerfluffle over your father, and how desperately people have tried to rationalize why they or why some people insistently see him as resembling Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. Ultimately, they decide they’re all the One True Loki, wearing his face or guise or using Marvel to lure them in, and so on. ”

He grinned. “Which is always worse and more offensive than people finding him through Neil Gaiman or other people who’ve written about him, isn’t it? Anyway — this isn’t about my father or any other Loki, and neither is it about the actual fact that I know alternate universe versions of people, or, you know, anything that I don’t feel the need to get upset about whether or not someone else believes or understands.”

“Despite that, you’ve been extremely clear that this world/this universe has one Loki, and that one is your father.”

He stretched, looking as absolutely unconcerned as a cat. “Yes.”

“Which Freyr belongs to this world/universe?” I said miserably.

He waved a finger at me. “That is for you to angst over while you waste your time trying to figure out how to delete a WordPress journal, because you have an opinion that other people will find upsetting.”

“I don’t have the energy to fight about it, or to be called names for it. I don’t want to be called a fake or be told that everything I believe is a lie. I don’t want to be told that my marriage is what doesn’t exist and hasn’t actually happened.”

“What do you want?”

I sighed. “Fewer great big bloody sacrificial messes that people make more important than anything else to do with him or about him — it’s just like how Everything has to be about his cock, and even when he gets killed, it’s always emphasized that he has a massive erection at the time. If they want to sacrifice something, maybe they should learn how to humanely sacrifice animals and then eat the animals and use all of their parts, or as many of them as possible, for things. Which was what actually happened… in my warped, insane view of the universe.”

“Great big animal sacrifice thingy?”

“They had a feast, yes. I was only around to bless it afterward for its own sake, to help it achieve a fortunate rebirth.”

“Getting your Buddhism all up in the mix.”

“He wanted me to. He thought it was important.”

“What did they feed you, and where were you? You never even told me about it.”

“In his room. Feeling weird, like always when there’s a major event going on nearby and you’re the only one left out, even if you’re left out because you chose to be, or have to be, or need to be. There were some herbed potatoes and carrots that she cooked separately, baked apples with spices, and seed bread with butter and honey that had been mixed together. I don’t know what the seeds were; they tasted like sunflower seeds.”

Oh. ‘In Germany, it is mixed with rye flour to make Sonnenblumenkernbrot (literally: sunflower whole seed bread)…’ From the pictures, that is what she gave me, though I think she must have used something other than rye — I’ve come across a recipe that uses barley, and some that just use wheat — because it didn’t have the intense bite that rye does. I don’t know what bread made with barley tastes like, and, having celiac, can’t find out. I suspect I would probably like it, though, if I could eat it. I can only remember having barley in soup, for which I’ve yet to find a properly satisfying celiac-friendly substitute.

“And,” Brand said, “just to rule out the potentially obvious objection: you don’t think he goes around not-dying because it might upset you.”

“Why would he? I expected it to happen. I thought it would right up until it didn’t.”

He laughed. “It’s probably a lot kinder of a way to disabuse you of the notion that Everyone knows half as much as they think they do than what dad did with me.”

“If it were genuinely something important for him to do, he should. Whether or not I like it is extremely superfluous when I’m not being forced to participate. Plenty of gods die. For fuck’s sake, you’ve died twice because of your father and you’re currently supposed to be human.”

“Would you have watched if he’d asked you to?” he said, suddenly solemn.

“…of course. What is there to a marriage if you are unwilling to go through difficult things beside each other, or if you are unwilling to go into dark places to find each other, or unwilling to even do something discomfiting. If you love someone, you stand beside them, whether through the worst of all things or the best. Bad things are a guarantee in life, and good things are a blessing to rejoice in. You can’t just choose the fun parts about a relationship or a person and throw out the rest and claim any kind of real love.”

What I believe is complex, and possibly overall completely stupid. I don’t know. I feel terrible, conflicted, extremely unhappy. Utterly miserable, hopeless, and forlorn. The only reason I haven’t deleted everything and disappeared is because R. asked me not to, and so did Brand. They think conflicting opinions are important, and that, due to having one, I should talk about it, rather than getting rid of any evidence of it outside of my own head.

The only thing I request about having made all of this public is that if we are to discuss it, we do it calmly.

If you would like to speak to me in private, my email address is shannon dot kotono at gmail.

I have to travel this week, so my replies may be a little slow, but I will get to them as I can.

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Solstice.

Yesterday was a very bad day — I am scraping through the bottom of the mental health barrel — and we were not able to do what we had wanted for the solstice and mother’s night. But, barring a convenient Stonehenge (where it was raining and very dark, anyway) or Science, the exact solstice is difficult to determine and wanders each year, so I hoped shifting the majority of things to today would be all right.

We lit tealights for the important goddesses and women in our lives, as well as some who were very important to people we loved. Some were slightly generalized: Buddhist tradition says that the numberless sentient beings are all our mothers, and they have all been our children, at some point in time. We ended up with fourteen candles. Had some people not been grouped together, I think we might have gone through half the box. I felt terribly serious about it; I have never had a mother, and I have seen how the loss of his mother has torn B. apart and how much it hurts R., whose wife she was.

I was adopted by Brand’s mother, Auðhelga, and so was B.

Inadvertently (it was largely to do with emotional and physical exhaustion and what I could handle cooking), I made cream of rice for dinner, which is a comfort food (in the form of cream of wheat, which none of us can eat, now, but I’ve forgotten what the difference in taste was and so have they) for Brand and V., because their grandmothers made it for them all of the time.

I also made Freyr’s tea, because I was fortunate enough to find unfiltered raw honey at the grocery, which is the only sort of honey that he and some of my spirits are very willing to have put in things for them. He asked me in the beginning to eat a little raw honey every day, and I have not been able to do it because I haven’t had the food stamp space for a while now. It’s very good to be able to share his tea again.

It rained the past two days and it will rain all day tomorrow, and my shoes have holes in them. Nerthus asked me to go stand on the ground barefoot — it’s actually warmer right this second than it will be tomorrow (the high is rapidly dropping from the upper fifties to the mid twenties), but I am so very tired. And I want to bring something to the pine in the back yard. I am not entirely sure how to accomplish this without looking insane to the landlords. My logical reason for being in the backyard is taking the trash out. Perhaps I can ask V. to hold the offering cup for me since I am stronger than he is, as far as the trash is concerned (this is not saying much, to be honest: whereas he has lost all of his muscle tone to cfs, I’ve kept some because I’ve had to carry home groceries and so on).

I have flipflops, which will be less troublesome than my shoes with holes in them, for the purpose of standing on the ground (though one could argue I am always standing on the ground in those shoes…!).

I will try to get some sort of feel for what the pine would like out of the tea that we have.

Autumn and winter are the only times of the year that I feel especially comfortable, so the solstice is not about lengthening days and the passing of winter for me.

It is about the moon in an ice cold clear sky, shining on a field of snow.

It is about a moment of absolute silence filled with such shattering clarity that the only thing you can do is stare in wonder.

It is about a void that is anything but empty.

Things during the internet blackout.

For reasons known only to Time Warner, we had to wait two weeks for someone to come attach a coaxial cable to our modem and then to the wall. That was finally done.

In the interim, we read, V. did a large amount of knitting, I did quite a lot of praying.

I intend to keep that up, ideally forming a strong devotional and meditative habit that will form the backbone of my work for the rest of my life.

I’ve had a lot of unrelenting horrors related to my ptsd happening lately. I’ve never had nightmares like this before — not so many, and not so many days in a row. I’ve been dreaming about being raped since we came up here to look for apartments, in the middle of October. I’ve been having those dreams for a month, many more times a week than not. And lately it’s been every single night, and sometimes more than once. I had to crawl (literally) out of bed and to the door to the living room yesterday, deep enough in the flashbacks that I couldn’t walk or communicate much, but it seems like I looked so bad that V. was up and coming to hold me before I think I’d managed to say anything about what was wrong.

I hope to upload some of the things I wrote (though there is not as much of it as I would have liked, likely due to all of that) tomorrow, and then possibly start picking at the 30 days devotional meme going around. I won’t put any pressure on myself to do the posts every day. I’m not in any psychological state to take on a responsibility. But I would like to do the writing, because I think it would be good for me and good for our relationship. It will also be helpful if I take any of this nudging about working on a book seriously, because they’re nearly all appropriate topics to include and expand upon.

I would like to curl up on R for a few days. He’s had a lot going on lately and we’ve only seen each other a little, though I don’t begrudge him it: he’s primarily busy in a good and happy way. I do miss him, though, particularly due to his having been one of the few things in my life I could depend on, and all of the ptsd being so much like drowning.

I’ve had the “Do I need to go to the hospital?” conversation, but I don’t know what they could do for me. I’m not a danger to myself. My memory is a danger to me.

A Month for Freyr: Suspicious Business

Not very long after I posted the previous entry that was partially about R. needing to be out of town when I was getting married, he received a sudden message saying that his appointment had been rescheduled to the 28th. He hadn’t asked to have it rescheduled.

I have always felt strange about getting married without R. there, as he was my first lover, and we are still together, and he has been incredibly supportive about Freyr and me. Since I don’t know anyone who can host Freyr, my earthly wedding portion will mainly consist of a reception sort of thing and a meal for my family, Freyr’s, and the spirits.

Apparently he wants R. there, too.

Boring godspouses

I’m extraordinary lacking in fondness for the the drama = godspouse = drama assumption.

R. will be coming back from a trip (a glorious vacation to get a lot of dental work done a few hours away) on the day of the wedding and may be too tired for it, as CFS is actually something safe to assume about me and my family, and travel is incredibly draining for all of us.

I think I must be supposed to explode with entitled rage because how dare some “foolish mortal” even dare to attempt to affect my plans, and stomp around and scream and start posting about what a hideous person he is, right?

It’s disappointing and saddening, but I’d planned to get married at night (for the moon, and also the lack of landlord and neighbors), and he will probably have time to get in a reasonable amount of sleep, and it will all work out just fine.

Sexuality In Evolution: One Post of Many

Last night, I was looking at custom-made double-sided necklaces and going through their symbols. Idly. I had been thinking of getting a rune pendant from etsy and wearing that after we were married because we’re very short on money, and getting a ring later, or something else. But his attention leapt up and it was very obvious that This was the thing he wanted me to have. They had a boar with a celtic design around the outside, and he liked it, so I was looking for something for the reverse sign that would hopefully represent something along the lines of love or devotion.

He liked the flaming heart, which I kept trying to change his mind about, or choose the alternate interpretation.

It symbolizes burning passion, love, desire, ardent affection and burning love. In Christianity the flaming heart is a symbol of sacrifice, higher love, grace and mercy.

I was increasingly uncomfortable. The latter definition is lovely and something I can relate to entirely. But he meant the former, with the latter as part of it (those are traits I work on constantly both as a Buddhist and because it is who I want to be), but not the point, necessarily. Not what he wanted me to wear.

Finally he said, very clearly, “Why are you so afraid of your sexuality?”

It felt like being pinned through the chest like an insect, suffocating in chloroform.

TW: rape
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Salt is antiseptic

Waves crash against the cliffs near the azure ...

My old love found me, and we fell together like crashing waves falling back to the sea. Both of us a quarter of a year splattered to cliff-face. Enough tears for a small sea between us, pooling on our chests, getting lost in my salt-damp hair.

We spoke of Freyr, of course. He tells me he cannot possibly hope to compare to a god in any way, and recites the litany of this year. I did not go looking for a god, and as one of Brand’s friends said to him, there are not many people who are willing to let gods be people, and so I am interested in Freyr as a person, not a deity. If he must compare himself with someone, he is comparing himself with another person, who has their own flaws, like anyone does.

I spoke about him to Freyr, who said similar things, phrased very differently; how can he compare to someone I have loved for so long and so deeply that I married?

Somewhere in the middle of this, I was saying to both that they were not the same person and I did not feel the same way — of course I did not feel the same way — but why would I want to, and why would they want me to?

I have, in this month of courtship, fallen in love with Freyr.

I have loved R. quite literally since the moment I met him.

There were terrible problems with his son, and it’s all very complicated, but we did not see each other for a long time, and I was not certain at all if we would or could still be together.

The day after I realized I was in love with Freyr, R. found me.

I thought I would have to choose. It was agonizing. R. did not want me to choose; he said Freyr had been good for me, and he hated the idea of ruining anything that had made me happy at all. So, that end being simplistic (though I wasn’t sure if I believed R. was doing the right thing for himself), things were necessarily complicated with Freyr, who has never wanted to share me.

Brand talks about how immobile I am when I have made up my mind about something, how I dig my feet in so far that it would require dismemberment to move me, and even then I would not change my opinion.

I was insistent, despite all advice to the contrary. The warnings to the contrary. The pages upon pages regarding godspousery about how the destruction of non-deity relationships is inevitable. That my entire life would be destroyed if I did not do exactly what was wanted, how it was wanted, when it wanted.

I have never agreed to jump when someone said it.

“Figure out how to share,” was my weary recommendation.

Despite the predictions regarding my undoing, he did sort it out.

I spent last night with him, and heard a story of Byggvir working to become one of Njordr’s servants, and to be given to Freyr when he was young, and then to be taken with him when he went to set up his own household, and of his similar tenacity in pursuing his wife, whose father also did not approve of their pairing. It seems to be a theme, this disapproval of fathers, in the love lives of anyone from that place.

Lacking a father (or a family, at all — Brand’s has adopted me), I am spared any drama of the sort.

We had not gone down for dinner, and it was ultimately brought up, and the fire built up. It is still cold there at night, especially. He asked if his habit of meat-eating bothered me, with my habit of lacto-vegetarianism (I like cheese). It doesn’t; he and the people in his country respect the animals they kill for food. They are grateful. They know they are eating something that was alive, and real.

I went to sleep listening to him breathe, the firelight flickering on his skin and on the insides of my eyes. He does not get particularly cold, and I seem to get very cold when I sleep there, without more blankets than he needs. I am bundled up appropriately whenever I get tired.

My blood pressure is low here, my circulation is not good, and my body temperature is lower than average. It may translate.

No one kisses me in the same way. No one holds me in the same way. I come alive differently in different arms.

Brand thinks I am naturally very monogamous, but my life has not turned out that way.