I was reading over at Slate.com about Eva Gabrielsson’s new memoir and I came to this part of the article:
In one particularly incredible scene, Gabrielsson exorcises her grief and fury by performing a pagan ritual, complete with a torch and a goat’s head on a spike, in which she recites a poem to the Norse gods, cursing all those who crossed Larsson in life and in death. In another, she speaks to a crow she believes has been sent to her by the god Odin and which she thinks may be an embodiment of Larsson himself.
Holy shit! She set up a nithing pole against her enemies. I’m not opposed to animal sacrifices, I must admit, but I’ve never wanted anything bad enough that I couldn’t get through other means to consider it. But I respect the anger that would bring someone to this point.
It’s funny. One of the things that I still carry around with me from Christianity is the twin folk-beliefs that God will take care of things in His own time and that He’s not a vending machine. You don’t just pop in a request and get out the thing you need. Those aren’t necessarily justified by theology, but those are folk-beliefs I was brought up with.
And that’s not at all how the Old Friends work, at least in my experience.
The Butcher has needed something for a very long time and his not having it has been very rough on both of us. But I have tried to stay out of it, since it’s his situation to resolve. Last week, though, he was particularly down about it and so I talked to my Friends and Loved Ones about it. And he got a lead. So, last night, I left whiskey in the kitchen for the Old Man, and today, more promising news. We should know more tomorrow.
So, my fingers are crossed.
But I guess the thing I’ve been thinking about is how I’ve come to almost take this back-and-forth for granted when things are going well. Sure, when things are going well, I feel like Folks are around and that I’m tapped into something ancient and comforting. But when things are tough, I pull back. I decide not to bother Them; They aren’t vending machines. And that’s stupid. You tell your friends your troubles. If they can ease them, they do.
If you reach out, of course, someone who cares is reaching back.