Community

In her guest post on The Wild Hunt, T. Thorn Coyle asks:

What does community mean to you? Is it a place of magic? A gathering of like-minded people with a single goal? A place to get taken care of? A place to belong? Singing and drumming around the fire? Doing good work with others?

And I was surprised to see how my first attempt to answer this was YES! And then immediately afterwards I felt incredibly sad.

I have tried for years to find a pagan community that had staying power. I have found small groups, large groups, have made some life long friends, none I see often. My life, as my practice, is fairly solitary. I have not found that YES yet.

At first it would start out that way but something would happen, someone would get angry, someone would leave, we would loose the place. Very little good works for others.

I don’t know if it’s my alcoholism that makes this true for me but I’ve never felt as though I belonged. Never. Not even in the 12 step group where everyone talks about Our Tribe as though it is unique. I have many tribes. Sober tribes, witchy tribes, artistic tribes. But I have always felt like Oliver Twist looking through the window at the feast he can’t participate in. Why is that?

Am I too aloof? Too shy? Too arrogant? Too frightened? Is it me?

Or is it a dream that doesn’t exist yet?

The closest I ever got was with my last lover. We found a place at OLOTEAS. While we were never really comfortable with the group et al, the energy there made us feel whole and at peace. We were never as good as we were there. And that wasn’t enough to hold us together. We both still go. I’m trying to feel more a part of the place in my singleton aspect. But it is cliquey.

I experienced a woman there who did what she could to control a spiral dance to go in the direction she wanted by forcing my arms back so far it was excruciating. She ignored my request to stop even when I said it hurt, that I had a disability. She still won’t talk to me or smile at me. *sigh*

I was sitting next to a friend, in the area that I realized later was the cool kids place, and tried to enter a conversation because they were talking about a coven that a dear friend belongs to and teaches with. This friend from my Outer Grove actually turned her back to me to exclude me from the conversation that I guess only initiates and other cool kids could participate in. I decided that I didn’t want to circle with the feelings that brought up for me. When I told my partner I was going and if he wanted to stay perhaps someone could give him a ride home, this same friend actually said to me with as much caring as she could muster, “Are you okay? If you’re not, I can help. I’m one of the healing priestesses here.” Uh. No that’s all right. I know what I need. When I told our training priestess in passing one day about it she said, “Yes, she is a bit into status right now.” *sigh*

Little things. Nothing major. But frankly one of the reasons I drank was to acquire a feeling of belonging. It’s another one of the things I figure I’m meant to overcome in this lifetime, the feeling that what others think of me matters. That including me defines my worth. Which of course couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m down with that. Much of what I do has nothing whatsoever to do with what someone else thinks I should. It’s why, when someone attempts to define me in any way, I get a bit, well, my Leo in Mercury roars.

I’d rather be alone, solitary, than pushed in the face or required to live someone else’s script. It’s really that simple. I am very good at living alone. I can totally keep myself occupied with fun things to do. But I don’t get out much. There aren’t that many places I want to go. France to see my brother. Movies with some friends. None of them are pagan centric.

It isn’t all that I want though. Not at all.

I do believe that we create our own realities. I’m working on creating a reality that has only ever been a dream before. I see myself in a small community of like minded people. Open, happy, welcoming people. I see laughing people. I see myself with my magical, spiritual, life partner’s hand around my waist, both of us smiling with joy at being surrounded by loved ones. I see us sitting around the living room after a ritual and a feast, talking, laughing, being. I see myself and my partner at a couple of pagan or magical summer events where we see the folks only once or twice a year but we can’t wait for it. I see us around a ritual fire with others, dancing. I see us with our animals, our garden, our trees, our bed, our circle, happy. Gathering food for those without it in the times of year that are not holidays. Helping others, volunteering somewhere, somehow. Building something for ourselves and for others. But also working at getting off the grid if we can. Out of the city. Creating what it is I/we see.

And I realize that while I don’t need any of those things to live a happy life on my own, it’s what I want with every fiber of my being. I’m lonely. After 8 years of being single on purpose, healing, getting ready, I WAS ready. The fact that my first relationship in 8 years didn’t last and that I am ready right away for the one I’m manifesting now doesn’t mean I think I’m nothing without a man as some of my female friends tend to think. It’s just that I know very clearly in my heart of hearts that this relationship that I see with a man, that also includes others, is why I came here this lifetime.

I’m getting out of the house. I’ve got some events planned. I’m working on it, on meeting new people. Not isolating so much. Because for the first time in my life, isolating just doesn’t feel all that great.

And I’m ready. I know he’s on his way. I know they’re all on their way. I’m ready. With open arms and an open heart.

So Mote It Be

4 thoughts on “Community

  1. Sometimes I feel isolated even in large and intimate groups – even with my immediate family and husband. I don’t think that it is because I can’t form those sorts of relationships – I am very close and caring. I feel that I have the choice as to the amount of communion I wish to share, and sometimes I would rather do it from a more detached spot of mental observation. Maybe it just is a function of how introverted I can be (that’s not the same as shy to me).

    Me to. While I am terribly shy, especially when I am new and unsure, it is also that after being burned I am reserved. And I don’t like big crowds. But OLOTEAS isn’t a big crowd. Not really.

    My best friend observed that she considers the people born in 1959 as “the watcher” generation. We watched man walk on the moon, the Vietnam war, the hippie movement, the birth of ecology, the Nixon debacle, the Reagan aftermath – all from the comfort of our homes and we saw a gazillion National Geographic films in school that sparked a curiosity about the rest of the world. We’re a little cynical from all the greed and corruption we’ve seen, and also we bright enough to push the need for computers and world wide communication. But we’re a little sad that the scene of the peaceful United Federation of Planets didn’t come to forth like we saw in Star Trek and there are no flying cars yet.

    I *LOVE* this!!! It’s so true. What a cool observation. She must be a watcher too.

    I think it is a gift, and the reason I have it is to maintain a sense of spiritual objectivity so that I may record my impression of the times and history for the generations that follow. So I can participate in holy communion. And I can also watch it like a recording angel – feeling the power, being moved by it, but letting it also pass through me. It’s kind of hard to explain 🙂 Is it an escape, or an intimation of what it must be like to be God – watching and loving, yet honoring the choices made by free will? Yeah, I draw the hermit card a lot.

    I get that card too. Along with the fool and queens.

    Goodness, we need to meet. *sigh* Any plans to come north this tourney season?

  2. Goodness – what you experienced at OLOTEAS (whatever is that anyway? An acronym of a brand of chai?) was downright rude and bad mannered. I hate rudeness and bad manners, there’s just no excuse for it. I think you have been remarkably tolerant and I know I wouldn’t have been (but then I’m a cranky old crab).

    *laugh* I’m a cranky old crab too. 😉 I try to treat new comers in social sitautions that same way i treat them in my 12 step group. Welcoming, here’s the ropes, that kind of thing. So when someone, a friend or otherwise, blatantly snubs me, I’m appalled. But I know that they aren’t all of the group so I continue on. But I stay away from the cool kids. The older I get the more I realize that 90% of the time I can’t stand the cool kids.

    The new reality you are starting to manifest sounds wonderful – I hope it, and he, arrives soon. So mote it be. 😀

    SO MOTE IT BE! 😀

  3. Hey hon, I’ve found that for me going to any group is more fun and relaxing with friends. Let me know if you’re at all interested in going to OLOTEAS again, and maybe we can coordinate so you don’t have to go alone. We can make a girls day of it. 🙂

    No pressure though, I was worried after I last saw you there that you had left because the ex arrived and made you uncomfortable enough that you left. I don’t want to put you in any kind of uncomfortable situation, but if there’s anything I can do to help you feel more welcome just let me know.

    Hugs

    Hugs back atcha!

    Goodness. It had nothing to do with the ex. Funny this should show up at this moment as I was just writing about the lying sneaking bastard. *laugh* I made lots of friends that day and have made some since. That was an old experience I was describing. There is nothing you could do nor would I want you too. Please don’t feel sorry for me. Gah. But your company under any circumstances is always most welcome. I wore the shawl the other night and thought fondly of you. Wil you be at OLO this Saturday?

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