I debated whether or not to share this, but decided that it might help someone out there if I did. The last 2-3 years have been very hard for me. I feel away from the practice of my faith for a while. And because pretty much all my writing is religiously inspired, that means I stopped writing too. Except for the occasional essay for school, this is the only thing I wrote in 2.5 years. That may sound minor, but writing is a huge part of my identity and not being able to felt like being hollowed out. It’s important to note that I do NOT feel the way the poem expresses now. I just thought that if there are any Pagans out there going through some of the things I went through, maybe seeing that there are others who were so consumed with doubt that they fell away for years, but then came back to the fold, maybe that would help somebody and give them them hope. I don’t know, I just really felt like it should be shared. Anyway.
Who am I now?
I used to think about my place in the cosmos, what part I had to play
In the grand dance of the Universe
I used to see spirits and Gods everywhere
My soul hummed with the energy of life
Was it really all a lie?
Just random misfirings in my brain
A few stray neurons sick with disease?
All my life I have felt the spirits in the earth
Since childhood I loved the Gods of Greece
With a love that was pure instinct
As a teen I found my way to Their altars
To worship Them as hard fact, a truth, a literal God!
I heard Their voices –
Mostly in my heart,
But sometimes with my ears.
I was filled with fire and fervor
There was a time when no doubt
Poisoned the garden of my faith
But that innocence did not last
(Does it ever?)
My heart and mind consumed by blackness.
A gaping pit of despair
That threated to swallow me whole.
But then a light appeared.
Not a Goddess with wings outstretched,
But a doctor.
He carried no sword to beat away my demons,
But a pill. A diagnoses.
No spiritual root for my pain,
No meaning to my suffering,
But a physical ailment, treatable with physical tonics.
Were all my deepest experiences really a symptom of my disease?
My Gods, my heart,
Really just an illusion,
A sparking electrical fart in my anomalous brain?
My spirituality manic, my Gods a hallucination, my feelings a symptom?
The pills banished the darkness, bought joy back into my world.
So clear now, I wondered.
So clear now, I tried.
So clear now, I worshipped.
So clear now, I waited.
The magic never returned.
I saw the world as it is;
Full of beauty, yes,
But emptier than I had once surmised.
I no longer dwell in darkness, but my world tastes bittersweet.
My eyes are clear of mirages
But Illusion was much kinder than truth.
The hymns I sung to ancient Gods fell on deaf ears.
The incense I burned in ancient rituals rose into empty skies.
No solace in newer Gods to be found either,
The packed churches have no more truth.
Heaven is empty. Olympos was never more than a mountain. Temples are just empty buildings.
I can live without an afterlife. Life does not need to be eternal to be valuable.
Life has a meaning, but we must make it ourselves.
But I miss the certainty of Karma
There is no cosmic Justice
Those evil men who escape the courts
Do not feel the sting of the Furies’ wrath.
Father Zeus does not strike them down.
The good are not rewarded.
Their suffering has no greater meaning.
There are no guides looking out for me. I must protect myself, for no angels or spirits will do it for me.
The pressure of my safety, of justice, of meaning
I see the world as it now.
It is full of beauty, yes, a riot of color and overflowing with joy, too.
But it is still emptier than I remember.
No Gods or Goddesses, no magic, no cosmic justice, no destiny or religious ecstasy.
I see the world as it is now.
And I wish I didn’t.
I miss my naiveté, my illusions.
I cannot turn back the clock.
The highest highs cannot come without the lowest lows.
I guess I am just crazy after all.