There’s no doubt in my mind that my life would be easier if my spiritual path were that of a fan in the audience, or a groupie just trying to get close to the gods. That’s not me. I’ve got a job to do, and while Doing The Work isn’t glamorous and the pay frankly sucks, it’s necessary. If everyone were a priest, who would chop the wood and carry the water?
My first interaction with my primary goddess, Brighid, who is associated with the forge (creation, strengthening and refining), the well (healing), poetry, and social justice, was in a meditation exercise that went sideways. In the visualization, I was walking through the woods, just taking in the sounds and experiencing nature. I don’t know if my concentration broke or if it was her redirecting me, but I found myself in a cleared area in the middle of the woods, where there was an old-fashioned blacksmithing forge set up. A woman in dirty work clothes, with soot on her face and a long red braid down her back handed me a hammer and told me to get to work. It’s never been about rituals or offerings or devotion. It’s about the work.
Like a lot of people, though, I have a tendency to try to fix everything, and I’ve had to learn that some things aren’t my department. I’ve had to learn to specialize. There are people doing very good work in the areas of disability rights, healthcare availability, GLBT+ issues, and so many other areas. I’m expected to speak up when I see injustice, but I’m not a leader of those fights, and if I try to fix all the things, I will burn out. The areas in which I’m asked to bring the fight to society are very specific. My battles are against childhood poverty and its consequences, and against violence against women.
Lately that work has involved baby quilts for the hospital, for families who couldn’t otherwise provide their babies with a nice, warm, snuggly blanket. (A Brighid kid making blankets for blanketless infants? That never happens! /sarcasm) I’ve taken 5 so far and have at least 3 more to do from the fabrics I have. With the weather turning colder and the need increasing, though, the number of quilts they’re going to need is going to far outpace what I can afford to make. I wish I had twenty times the fabric stash I have, and an endless supply of batting, backing, thread, and basting spray, because the ones I make from the precut strips work up so quickly that I’m really only limited by my budget.
I’ve also applied for a job as an advocate for the local battered women’s shelter, and I’d like to see something come of that. I got out of the situations where I was the one being abused, and I’d really like to help others do the same.
I used to do a lot with Head Start before St. Croix. I spent a year as a volunteer and another as a substitute teacher. Now that the requirements have changed, though, I can’t even sub for an assistant. Because the needs of the local center are not the same as the needs of the small center where I was before, I don’t volunteer as often, but I still make it over there a couple of times a month.
You don’t have to fix ALL THE THINGS. As the cliche goes, nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.