Yes, I realize that quoting a DeNiro flick probably isn’t exactly what anyone had in mind for an appropriate title for a Pagan Blog Project post, but I do have a point in doing so… and will eventually get to it.
Things have been very quiet lately in the parts of my head-space that handle all things spiritual, deity, and metaphysical. The silence has not been that ‘isn’t this relaxing, listening to the sounds of a babbling brook’ variety. It’s been the kind of quiet where you call out “Is anybody there?” and even your own echo doesn’t respond. It’s been dead air, not even the usual static and background buzz, not so much silence as the opposite of noise.
My brain, like nature itself, abhors a vacuum. It has quite successfully managed to fill those empty spaces with the kinds of thoughts that multiply the most expediently – depressive, anxious, doubting thoughts that pretty much take over my ability to think about anything else. The kind of thoughts that make existentialist angst look like a walk in the park on a sunny day. The kind of thoughts that leave you feeling as if your soul has been sucked through a coffee stirrer. The kind of thoughts that I really do not want to be having.
Something that I know about myself is this: I will only listen to so many of those thoughts before some part of me starts to rage against them. The anger begins quietly enough, but eventually, it comes to surface with a full-on fury worthy of… well… the Furies. In the past, that rage has either been turned inward (incredibly stupid and destructive in retrospect) or toward other people (also incredibly stupid and destructive). This time, I have managed not to tear apart either myself or my fellow humans.
Instead I did something that is potentially very, very, VERY stupid and destructive. To borrow a favorite passage from Terry Pratchett, I figuratively stood “on a hilltop in a thunderstorm wearing wet copper armour and shouting ‘All gods are bastards‘.” After 18 or so months of wading through so much bullshit, I finally hit the point of needing to vent at those who seemed to be standing idly by watching as I’ve floundered. There was liberal use of words beginning with F and certain anatomically impossible suggestions were made. There was sound and fury and many accompanying hand gestures. There were accusations and condemnations directed at Deities and Others. There were threats to dismantle shrines and to become an atheist. It was not a pretty or proud moment, but it was heartfelt and as anger and outrage go, it was one of my better attempts at expression.
The ensuing silence lasted about 24 hours, a silence that made the previous one look positively cacophonous. And then I heard a low chuckle, nothing more than a deep, resonantly but distinctly feminine chuckle. An hour later, I heard on a local radio station the only song I’ve ever really associated with the Lady I follow, a song that I haven’t heard on the radio since, oh 1991 (and then only on an alternative, college radio station). And so it went for the entire afternoon with little pokes and prods, until I finally did my best (but still awful) DeNiro impersonation with this gem:
You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? Then who the hell else are you talking… you talking to me? Well I’m the only one here. Who the fuck do you think you’re talking to? Oh yeah? OK.”
And clear as day came the answer: “Yes, you. Who the fuck do you think I’m talking to?” Yep, I think She’s talkin’ to me. See, I told you I’d get to the point of the title eventually. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I need to apologize to a few thousand gods for rude comments pertaining to their legitimacy.