Thursday, April 30, 2015

Light the Beltane Fires

Tomorrow, for those of us who celebrate the Earth traditions, is Beltane. May Day we called it when I was growing up in a small town in Iowa. We celebrated all the Pagan traditions. We danced the maypole at school every year. And then after school, we ran home and made May baskets, usually little paper candy cups or construction paper cones with pipe cleaner handles, that we filled with small candy, popcorn, and dandelions or violets we picked out of the yard. Then Mom would drive us with our little baskets all over town to hang on our friends' doors. We'd run up to the door as quietly as possible, hang the May basket on the door handle or knob, knock on the door and then run as fast as we could back to the car. If we were caught, our friend got to, or had to, give us a kiss. When we weren't out delivering, we waited by the door for someone to show us some love by bringing a basket to our door.

When Drake was finally old enough for May baskets, we were living in New Hampshire, just north of Boston. I couldn't wait to take him out to hang May baskets. I was so disappointed to learn that our friends had no idea what the hell we were doing when we ran up, rang the doorbell and then ran away. So much for tradition.

Beltane isn't just about kids dancing the maypole and hanging baskets on their friends' door knobs though. It's a holiday that celebrates passion, fire, sex. A time of putting out the household fires and then rekindling them from the Beltane flames. For me, it's the beginning of summer, even though technically that doesn't happen until summer solstice.

This year, I'm thinking about things I need to let burn away, and new passions I need to rekindle. Or kindle, as the case may be. I've been feeling stuck for quite a long time now. Even through the process of buying a house, moving, starting a new job ..... something feels stuck.

I'm not unhappy, mind you. I just don't feel passionate about anything, and I want to. I need to.

So I'm thinking about the things I need to let burn out, the things I need to extinguish, and I've come up with two I absolutely need to let go of now.

One is Facebook. I  know I've threatened it before, but this past week has been torturous. I don't even want to say why, because I don't want to have that conversation. I'll just say that sometimes being on Facebook makes me dislike people I really don't want to dislike. Facebook allows people to show a side of themselves that isn't necessarily true. It allows people to present an inauthentic self to the Facebook public, and this week that aspect got to be too much for me.

Also, the personal updates are so rare these days, I waste hours every day scrolling through, and then stopping to read a whole bunch of articles I don't need to waste my time on. It's interesting, yes. But all that shit doesn't leave space, man. I have no space left in my head or in my day. Facebook is the Pacman of social media. It gobbles and gobbles and gobbles.

And for an extrovert like me, it's like vodka to an alcoholic. I'm never alone and I crave that connection.

So I'm going to read my messages, which are really like emails these days, and anything I'm tagged on, and I'll respond to invitations, but I'm not reading my feed for a while. Big fucking deal, you might say, if you aren't as hooked as I am.

If you knew how much time I spend, you'd know it is a big fucking deal. As soon as I decided to quit it, I wanted to post something on Facebook and start a conversation.

That's one thing. The other thing is my March failure: sugar. A reader posted on my blog Facebook page that I didn't really fail when I lost the battle on day 15. I went 2 weeks, which isn't like giving in after a day. So maybe I need to set my goal a little lower, and shoot for another 2 weeks. So that's what I'm going to do. Two weeks with no (or little) sugar. I don't think anybody will be hanging May baskets on my door, so I should be OK.

Now that I've decided which fires I'm going to let go out for a while, I need to kindle or rekindle something. And I have no idea what that is. So tomorrow I'll do a ritual and see if I get any clarification. In the past year I've been teased by some possibilities -- music, writing, work -- but I'm still stuck. In every case, the right people weren't in place to make something happen.

You might wonder, given this is the sexy Beltane I'm talking about, whether a new relationship is something I'll look for. And the answer is no. I won't be looking for an intimate relationship. I have a couple of friendship slots that could be filled -- anybody want to be my bestie? -- but I'm not going for the impossible. I need to stoke passions that are real, healthy, and fulfilling.

I'll probably still talk about dating though, because I'll still talk about sex. I can't help that.

So, bring on the Beltane fires. I'm ready. Ready to smother the addictions dressed as passion and light a fire under something new and exciting.  Let the orgy flames begin!

Note: While it may seem like I failed at blogging every day, the past few days I've been focusing on my classroom blog. I've even surpassed my once-a-day goal there this week. I don't think it's anything that would interest any of you, but I have blogged every day this month like I intended to. Thanks for reading!

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