Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mind Over Melancholia

Here's another fun comic book analogy for you.

Way back in the mid 80's, during a stressy period in the lives of the X-Men, the second Phoenix went kind of berserk and decided to whack Selene, the Black Queen of the Hellfire Club. Phoenix broke into Selene's residence and proceeded to go all Medieval, but then Wolverine showed up and tried to reason with her. I don't remember the exact dialogue, but it went something like this:

Wolverine - "Vengeance goes against everything the X-Men stand for."

Phoenix - "Rahr!"

Wolverine - "Please calm down."

Phoenix - "I will, I will. Right after I finish kicking Selene's butt."

Wolverine - "Really, I mean it. You're starting to freak me out."

Phoenix - "The only way to stop me, Logan, is to kill me!"

Wolverine - "Fine. Stab stab!"

Phoenix - "Ow! Dude, you are such an asshole."

Selene - "Okay, wow. This is awkward."

And so it was. In a valiant attempt to Do The Right Thing, Wolverine ran his claws through Phoenix's heart. But she survived, against all odds, by using her mighty telekinetic abilities to hold her wounds together. She couldn't concentrate her powers on anything else, but she survived.

I find myself in a similar position.

A couple of weeks ago, I stopped practicing Witchcraft. Not intentionally--I mean, it wasn't like there was some formal passing-of-the-athame or a reintroduction to Anglicanism, just that all the regular, Witchy aspects of my life mysteriously dried up. No lighting of candles or burning of incense; I can't remember the last time I worked up a geomantic chart, and I completely forgot to hold my annual Nemoralia celebration.

Oh, but I did attend a guided meditation workshop. I'm told my snoring was gentle and not at all distracting to the other participants.

I wake up every morning and go to work. I put in eight or nine hours, come home, watch TV, have a couple of cocktails and go to bed. On the weekends, I hang out a British pub around the corner with a few old college buddies. Realistically, I should be screaming and crying and grieving the death of a 7-year relationship and refusing to leave my apartment, but instead I'm going about my daily routine and maintaining a relatively positive outlook, just without any of the occult interests I'd normally spend all my free time cultivating.

It's weird to feel normal, when by all rights I should be wasting away. Hell, it's weird to feel normal period, and not like a Practitioner of the Dark Arts in Good Standing. I like feeling like a Practitioner of the Dark Arts in Good Standing. It's a big chunk of how I define myself. But it's gone at the moment, and I think it's because the part of my mind/spirit/whatever that would normally be focused on the metaphysical is now dedicated to holding my wounds together.

On one hand, this is a good thing: A couple of nuclear meltdowns nonwithstanding, I'm handling this whole crappy situation way better than I ever thought I could. Plus it's cool to be able to identify with one of my favorite superheroes. On the other hand, I miss Witchcraft. I miss being the Great and Terrible Evn. But I don't have the emotional strength right now to be anything other than... well, me.

After her showdown with Wolverine, Phoenix went away for a while, then snagged her own limited series and made a spectacular comeback with the Excalibur franchise. This morning, one of our receptionists dropped by my office with a package. Seems I'd won a contest over at Good Mom/Bad Mom (totally slipped my mind), my prize being the following:

My first thought as I gazed upon my tumescent little tchotchke was What in the HELL am I supposed to do with this?

My next thought was Feature it as the centerpiece of a shrine devoted to the Ancestors of Men Who Love Men, as revealed by the Unnamed Path. Then go clean your altar.

I'm ressurecting nicely. Slowly, but nicely. Phoenix would be proud.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'm not dead

Quiet, and kind of sleepy, but not dead.

And I'm going to be fine.

New posts soon, Loyal Strifemongers. Stay tuned to this channel.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Quote o' the Moment - The End of an Era

"'But some things can be fixed,' you say. True, but can your relationship be fixed? Anything is possible, but we'd say probably not. Generally, if one person thinks that the breakup is the right move, they're probably right even if it feels so wrong. Because unless there are two people putting on the coveralls and getting down in the trenches with some duct tape and superglue and a fierce determination, it isn't going to happen. Need more convincing? How about this: The person you loved took a good look at the awesomeness that is you, evaluated your relationship together, and said, 'No, thanks. I'll try my luck elsewhere.' Or you said it to him. Either way, that alone should make you realize that it wasn't a match made in heaven and they're not worth donning coveralls for. Anyone who assesses you or your relationship as disposable is not worth your time or tears.

"Right now, your brain is probably working overtime to come up with all the reasons that you should still be together. Your heart is hurting and your mind wants to find a way to undo the pain. Just remember, though, that any reasons you come up with are ultimately irrelevant. The harsh reality is that even if you have everything else in common, the one thing you don't have in common is the belief that this relationship can work. That, my friend, trumps your shared love of puppies, The Dave Matthews Band, and Mexican food."

-Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt