Clearing Away, Beginning Anew
Spring is upon us. New beginnings and new adventures: 2015 has definitely be the beginning of a new adventure for me. With Spring coming right around the corner the momentum of that adventure is picking up. January saw my first post of the year on PaganActivist.com, which was syndicated by Penton, and February brought about the invitation to write for both Penton Independent Pagan Media and Green Egg Magazine. Now with March here I am writing for this new project, DiversiTree. January also saw the launch of my first serious non-fiction book project.
A bit about me: In my tradition, Covenant of Kernunnos, we see the coming of Spring as a chance to bring about something new, something special in our lives. Not just as individuals, but as a family. For that is what we are, a family. We see the coming of Spring as a reason to not just celebrate the return of the flowers and the tall grasses, the birthing of young animals and the return of new life to our Northern hemisphere. We see the coming of Spring as an opportunity to celebrate everything that is new and energetic within our own family.
This Spring we celebrate the elevation of several students to higher degrees, first, second and third. We also celebrate the elevation of one of our sisters to the status of High Priestess, something that goes beyond the third degree training. We also celebrate the beginning of our third year with our new Tradition Patriarch, our founding High Priest passed away three years ago this summer.
It is with Spring that we also honor and mourn the passing of those that have gone before us on these paths. Over the last year we have lost a number of influential Pagans and spiritual leaders. Morning Glory Zell, Margot Adler, Peter Paddon, Judy Harrow, just to name a few. They will be missed, but they leave a legacy that can and will continue to flourish in those of us we are still on this plain of existence.
The burdens of Spring: We can say all the platitudes about Spring that we want. That with it comes new life, new beginnings, new growth. It is all true, in a way. But we also must face that with new things something old has to go away. We have to make room for the new in our lives or we will become crowded and cluttered in our lives. Believe me, I know.
Looking around my home I see that it is cluttered, crowded. It is full of stuff. Much of it I don’t really need. But I keep it because it makes me feel good, makes me feel something. Stacks and stacks of books, the shelves are overflowing. Boxes of CDs and DVDs. I even have boxes of VHS in the closet, bags off cassettes waiting to be digitized. I used to furnish a three bedroom house and now live in a two bedroom apartment. I’ve got more furniture than I know what to do with. I keep things to remind me of events, people, even my pets. A lot of people do that.
It took years, but I finally got rid of almost everything that was my ex-boyfriend’s. When we split he left practically everything with me. From the pots and pans to the cat. All I wanted was to keep the cat and some scrap of dignity. More than a decade later and all but a few things have been rehomed or disposed of. Unfortunately the cat also has gone away – cancer took him five years ago. Aside from the cat, why did I keep things for so long? Not because I wanted to remember my ex, not because I wanted to be reminded of the pain I went through when our relationship ended. No, it was laziness. At least in part. When we split he moved into his new boyfriend’s place, I moved into a more affordable apartment. He took what he wanted and I was left with all the rest.
Each Spring I manage to get rid of a little more. I’ve had yard sales (benefiting charity), I’ve given things away through Freecycle, Goodwill has even been the recipient of some of the ‘schtuff’ left behind. Perhaps by the time I am ready to move to another place I will have gotten rid of everything that he left behind. Yup. I just admitted to carrying baggage. I’m only human, mostly.
Spring cleaning: Now is where I go on about how to be a better Pagan, how to be a better human. You know, talk about recycling, reducing your carbon footprint. That sort of thing. Most of you reading this will already be familiar with most of those ideas. So I am not going to waste your time or my time telling you what you already know. I will however talk about what I do for Spring cleaning.
I recycle regularly. I actually pay for a service to come and collect my mixed recycling. The only things I have to sort out are plastic bags and glass. No big deal. The same service takes the glass, I just have place it in a separate container. The bags I either reuse or take to the local grocery store that recycles plastic bags.
I plan my route carefully when I am running errands. The less backtracking, looping around, and the like the better. Most of my errands can be run in a circuit, often coinciding with work or volunteer work. When I can, I offer to take a friend with me – to reduce the use of gas even more.
But the clutter in my home. What am I going to do about all that? I’m going to get to work and organize my home. Take one room at a time and get it cleaned, uncluttered. I might even do some feng shui. In the process of cleaning up my physical home I will clean up my spiritual self and my life.
It will become a ritual. For each piece of clutter that finds a new home some part of my cluttered life will become better organized. With each bit of ‘schtuff’ that leaves my life some part of the pain of my past will also leave my life. A cleansing. A blessing upon my own life. And in a way, as my life becomes more clear and more spiritually clean those around me will benefit as well.
Where I go from here: Writing for this site is going to be part of an interesting adventure. An adventure that I hope you take with me. Along the way I will share some of my experiences along my spiritual journey – as I clean my home and declutter my life. I’ll also share with you the joys and the heartaches of being involved in my local community, both as a Pagan as a gay man.
As you can tell from reading my little bio blurb, I do podcasting and community radio broadcasting. I co-host shows on Pagan issues both locally and via the interwebs. I also co-host a program that addresses LGBTQIA issues and news. Being involved in these programs introduces me to people, music, books, and ideas that I would not normally encounter. Many of them have changed my life in some small way, some of very big ways.
What does that all mean? I don’t know. I’ll write about the people, the books, the music, the ideas, the places I get to go. I’ll share my life in a way that goes a bit deeper than just journaling. From time to time you might find a music or a book review, you might find an interview. You might find a ritual or a ceremony. Every once in a while you’ll find a poem a short piece of fiction. Anything can happen with my contribution to DiversiTree.