So, yes, in a perfect world, I would go sit out on the graves of my ancestors for inspiration and wisdom. In this world, I live here where, happily, I know no dead folks.
So, when I utiseta, it’s more of a metaphorical sitting out than a physical sitting out. I’m just setting aside time each night for nine nights to go “over there.”
Where “over there” is, I’m not sure. Suffice to say, and maybe it’s just as good an explaination as any, it’s just Not Here.
And, so, in effect, I guess, the goal is to be Not Here.
To me, it’s like tuning in a faint radio station by dial. Sometimes, you get mostly static, but occassionally, you land the needle just right and things are clear as day. For me, getting over There feels like I’m in two places at once. I’m in my body and I’m some place just in front of my body.
It seems to me that this world has a spirit world that is over There and you can walk through that world and find ways to weird places or meet up with weird folks in familiar landscape. I think there are plenty of places where the barrier between this world and its spirit twin are thin and, by doing the same thing in the same way for a set period of time at the same time, I’m tring to deliberately make a thin spot where one might not have been before.
Yesterday, I ran into the Old Man, who I haven’t seen in ages, it seems like. And he told me to come sit with him at a specific actual real world place. So, I’ll go there, when I get my first chance, and sit in the grass, enjoying the sun on my face and I’ll assume that he’s There, in the spot There that matches where I am and if nothing else, maybe we’ll have some sense of each other, separated, but next to each other.
If something else, well, then, I guess that would be something else.
Last year, I spent an evening with the Old Man’s uncle and he took me to a spot on West End, about where the Jack in the Box is, and he showed me what it looks like to him, which is that he sees that spot as if all time is layered up on each other–the past, present, and future all happening at once, always–and he said that that’s why he liked having human companions; they helped orient him in time; they give him something stable to focus on.
To me, this made sense because I’ve always felt like there’s some way in which time works differently for the gods, and in a way that is to their detriment. And so, if it is like that, that all time is at once, they cannot possibly change their fates. But for us, time is linear and we can change our fates (though, supposedly, not the hour of our deaths), and that makes us important. We can be communicated with and we can change fate. You can see why we’d be almost irresistable to Some.
Anyway, the first two nights this year I spent with Frigg, Freyja, and Hel, which seemed fitting considering that I was just fretting about them recently. And this is what we talked about, their nature(s). And they said that they are not the same, but they have the same job(s) in their different realms. One of their jobs is as midwife of sorts and though they each have different primary responsibilities, they work together. Frigg pulls young life from There to here. Freyja helps shepherd souls from here to There. And Frau Hel (as she was calling herself) pulls souls from nothing.
That, she said, is why she is half woman and half skeleton, not because she crosses some line between life and death (what god cannot do that?), but because she regularly crosses the line between being and not being.
I don’t know if that’s true, but it felt right.
And, of course, I don’t know if any of it is “true.” I could just be inducing hallucinations in myself and then putting stock in them. But it makes me feel better, so at the end of the day, I guess I don’t care.
Tonight I was on a high, dry mountain top and I met a man who was trying to teach me how to use the moment the sun rose, the power of that moment, to transform myself, and after much trying, the first thing I switched to was a fish.
He thought this was hilarious. Who would transform themselves into a fish on the top of a dry mountain?
Well, come now, me, of course.
What I mean is that that rings true in some soul-deep way to me, whether it actually happened or not.