Wednesday, May 23, 2012

days of remembrance

I follow a somewhat heathen-ish path. That is, if I had to pick one of the many pagan labels to apply to myself - which I don't, but for the sake of argument, I will - it would be Heathen. Ish.

Once upon a time, I looked into following the Heathen path, officially. There's much to be said for that path in how it intersects with my internal spirituality and chosen mores. In the end, I chose to go my own way regardless of all the various 'official' spiritualities and their intersections. But that's neither here nor there. 

One of the aspects of Heathenism which has made its way into my personal practice is the observation of days of remembrance. At first, I tested the idea of observing the common days of remembrance - such as that of Rey Radbod, who (story has it) resisted early Christian missionaries, telling them he would rather burn in hell with his ancestors than go to heaven with the missionaries. Surely, if the story's true, he deserved a day of remembrance. ...but the thing is, I felt no connection to him. And because I practice this aspect of my faith on my own, it didn't make much sense to observe a holiday to which I felt no connection. So I decided to come up with my own days of remembrance. 

The ideas weren't overflowing. As time goes by, I accumulate more things to remember - most of them bittersweet at best. The first Official Bones' Day of Remembrance was for Naanaa, my cat who died in my arms, on 21 March 2010. I still can't even think of him without hurting. The next two - which are perhaps ironic - observe the deaths of my sister and my grandmother. Ironic, because they are less painful than the death of my Naanaa, and because they happened earlier but became something I observe, later. Recently, I've decided to add one more day: a day for myself. 

There are other annual events which are more positive - the celebration of my anniversary with Archer, and my anniversary with my coven (which indicates my growth in that area, too, since I'm still so new to the coven). 

I think it's important for me to take a day to recognize the difference in who I am now, and who I was before I came to terms with my past. There's probably a resemblance here, between me and a recovering addict, marking the days our lives changed for the better. In fact, that's probably a more apt analogy than I care to dissect right now. Regardless, I haven't decided what day that should be, yet. How does one decide these things, when there isn't necessarily an exact date which can be easily identified? This transition has been a journey, and it isn't over yet. Perhaps I need to wait until I feel it's completed to select a day. I feel that day might turn out to be the day I tell my mother what I experienced as a child; I feel, for now, as though that might be the last hurdle between me and the rest of my life. 

Time will tell, I suppose. 

Time will tell, as it always has, and as it always reminds us. 

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