There’s no devotional poetry this time, or insightful intuitions, or philosophical theorising. Just one small observation i’ve made, that seems worth sharing.
I have anxiety and depression. I struggled alone with this for many years—i used to joke that i was the only person in my family not seeing a therapist. Which was true; but my pride in that truth was woefully misplaced. I come from a long line of broken, wounded, angry people—several lines of them, actually. But somehow i thought if i just pretended i myself wasn’t broken, it would be so. I didn’t seek help until it got so bad that one night i realised, if i didn’t get better, i was going to die. So i swallowed that misplaced pride, and sought help. I’m not ‘better’—often with mental illnesses you never get better; you simply…manage the symptoms. So that’s what i do. I manage the symptoms.
Like many Bothered folks, i’ve found my ‘godphone’ goes on the fritz when my anxiety or depression acts up. In the past, i used to think They were abandoning me—that They couldn’t stand to be connected to someone so pitiful and weak and broken. Which, i suppose goes without saying, didn’t help my situation any. I know now that i was mistaken; it’s not that They leave, but simply that my own mental fog makes a clear connection impossible. I know now that They would not abandon me, and that’s some comfort, even though i cannot feel or hear any of the Powers through the mental gunk.
Any but one.
For reasons i neither know nor understand, i can still connect to one of the Powers, no matter how deeply mired in my own mind-swamp i get. I can always feel my connection with Loki. Even though Odin seems now to have assumed the role of my ‘primary’ deity, His voice gets lost in the fog. Loki’s doesn’t.
I don’t know what i am to Them; i have no name for the ties that bind me to each of the Blood Brothers. It feels right to say that i ‘belong’ to Odin—that i am in some sense His—but there is something that i am to Loki as well, something that He is to me. I have no name for it, but i know that it…is. I know from experience that i can sink far enough down in the dark that i can neither feel nor hear Odin, nor any other Power i know. But there is no despair black enough that Loki cannot pierce through it. As i said, i don’t know why it’s so; but it’s so.
I’m writing this because today is one of those anxiety-depression days, one of those mired-in-the-mental-muck days when working for more than a few minutes at a time is exhausting, when it takes a momentous effort even to move, when i have to be reminded that the sensation of my stomach gnawing on my insides means i need to eat. And Loki is here. He speaks very little on days like this: My discernment is fuzzy at best, so it’s not a good time for any Deep Conversations. But He’s still there, a quiet presence that gently nudges and encourages, that sifts through the mind-silt, picks up the pieces of me, and presses them back into place, and holds them until the glue dries. Until i’m something-like-myself again.
Hail Loki, the Light in Dark Places
Hail Loki, Who Puts the Pieces Back Together
Hail Loki, Who Mends the Broken With Gold