“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist; a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain.”
–Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”
Ursula K Le Guin is one of my favorite science fiction authors, to the extent that some of the poetry and stories of hers have taken on a lot of significance within my spiritual life. That quote from “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” really resonated with me when I first red the story, to the point that I had to put the book down and sit with it for a bit. In a way, that quote sums up a lot about Darkness, both my path and with Darkness as a culture. I’ve talked before, about how pain-as-devotion is heavily rejected, and many religious paths Over There, like the one Jake follows, are based on joy.
I’m currently reading Rejoice, A Knife to the Heart by Steven Erickson, and it’s reminding me of Darkness a lot, because it’s a very hopeful book. Lately it’s been science fiction that’s been inspiring me, and reminding me of Darkness. It’s not cyberpunk or dystopian settings that give me Darkness feels, but stories about the best of humanity, which is what Rejoice is about.
Sitting in this temple
all the Past weighing down
books like tombstones holding
what had once been life.
Here, my rejected past is chained
my old family of gods forever cycling
through their Past, through their Eternal War
a fight going on and on into Eternity.
With no end to the War in sight, I gaze at the stars,
and wonder what caused all this to happen. Why can’t
the chains of the Past be released, what’s stopping them
from putting down their swords, and living in a way
that welcomes the future? This is only a dream, yet
I can feel the Far Ones eyes on me, the Nine whispering
through the stars, that it is time to let the ancient Past go,
time to step out of the grave of stars, and embrace life again.
This was going to be a poem *for* the Queen, then it turned into a poem where I rambled to her about upcoming evens in my Otherworld life. I guess this poem also doubles as the official announcement that my deity Beloveds and I are planning on having children (which I vague blogged about (link) earlier this year.) I don’t know how much I’ll write about that going forward, but this poem makes it pretty obvious, and they’re okay with me mentioning it in public.
Darkness is changing, Mother, I feel it
even a world away. The vision of my children,
and the recent crowning of the Future King, what is
this all leading to? I pray that these new lives do not
have Fate weighing them down from birth, that they
may be children, that they are simply innocent lives
over the years in my arms. Darkness is not demanding
these children, they are born of Love, yet I feel the Land almost
holding Its breath, as though waiting to see how we Three Kings are
equipped to handle being fathers. I will not have so-called “destiny”
resting on our children’s shoulders, for in that is nothing but burdens
ones who are so young must never carry. I find that I am longing to be a
father, I’ve had many dreams and visions giving confirmation, yet I am
anxious about their arrival into the world of Darkness. I pray that their
lives are filled with nothing but Love, Mother. I pray that I am able to
love them as they need to be loved, even Here, a universe away.
Tonight is Winter’s Night, and though it’s one of the bigger holidays in Darkness, this year is an even bigger celebration than usual.
Winter’s Sovereign was Officially crowned the Prince (and Heir) of All Darkness, as well as taking the role of the Distant Prince that his Father once held.
The Distant Prince was once Draped in Gold, now he wears a Cloak of the Stars.
Hail, the Future King of Darkness!
Hail, Winter’s Sovereign!
Author’s Note: I spoil the plot of Hollow Knight.
“Show me this game you’ve been writing to me about.” The Dreamer sat down next to me on the couch, glancing at the screen of my laptop.
“Sure.” I pulled it up on my laptop. “Welcome to buzz saw and spike trap hell that is the White Palace.”
[after playing with my Spouse watching over my shoulder for a bit]
“Yeah?” I could sense him side-eyeing all the buzz saws in the Palace.
“How,” my Spouse asked me, “does this King ever get anything done…?”
I already knew that the Dreamer has Opinions about fictional Kings (he loves Aragorn from Lord of the Rings, to the point he’s used Aragon as a faceclaim) but when I played the game Hollow Knight, my Spouse had Angry Feelings about the Pale King, and that “no cost too great” was his [the Pale King’s] main line. It was heavily implied that the Pale King sacrificed his children for the “greater good” of finding the perfect vessel to hold the infection, and the Radiance. The game (to me) had a very sad ending, since it ends with the main character took their sibling’s place in containing the infection.
My Spouse has talked before about how he despises meaningless sacrifice–or sacrifice of any kind, really, and Hollow Knight helped emphasize that theme. One thought that occurred to me as I was playing the game–I modded it so my character was immortal–was that “gamers who want games to be Hardcore Difficult, are like polytheists who want devotion to be All Pain All The Time.”
One thing that Darkness rejects is the idea of Devotion As Pain. Darkness–my gods, mortal Beloveds, spirits, and the Land itself–would rather I learned to love myself. Choose a path covered in flowers, rather than a path covered in thorns.
One disadvantage of deleting my Tumblr blogs, is that I no longer have my dashomancy system. Since then, my Beloveds, and Others, have been using music to get my attention–thanks to Jake, last night I have two verses of “Michael, Row The Boat Ashore” playing in my head in a loop (Jake uses either hymns, symphonic black metal, or pop music to let me know he’s around.)
I do have the ability to “see” gods and spirits, but it’s more like a very strong mental image of them, along with a feeling of a presence near me. If Jake is around, I’ll often feel his wings wrapped around my shoulders if he’s sitting next to me. Sometimes my sense of “sight” is stronger than other times, so I often rely of the energetic presence that I can feel near me, rather than my sense of “sight.”
I used to travel to the Otherworlds in my dreams fairly often, but since I’ve gotten on Seroquel my dreams have gone absolutely crazy with random stuff that makes no sense, so no more Otherworld dream travel for me. When I have spent time Over There (while awake Here) it’s been through writing, which also helps because I can look over my notes, and easily reference earlier conversations if I need to.
We People of Darkness are
not smashed pottery, we are
healed with gentleness and Light.
Even the Lord of Evil
lifts his People up with
gentle hands, with Love.
Darkness says that there
is a better way, beyond
broken Hearts and fire.
I find my gods
in the everyday
in the life around me that
they wish for me to live, for myself
not for them, for my faith to ebb and flow,
in the quiet still of the college library
with an offering of tea, and studying for finals.
I’ve been a Virgin Black fan for years, since I was in high school. Yesterday, on a whim, I decided to google if there was any news about the album Requiem: Pianissimo. I learned the album had come out in late November, and after yelling “it’s out, I can’t believe it” so loudly that my aunt in the living room heard me (I was shocked that it was out, and ecstatic that it had finally been released) I quickly bought a copy of the album.
It’s going to go on the Underworld Lord’s playlist, and I hope that sometime we can listen to the album together. (I showed it to Jake, and he said it was “too morbid” for him, though he did admire how the music is put together.)
I don’t talk about the spirits I call the Beasts of Outer Darkness very much in public. They’re a group of monster spirits who live in Outer Darkness, and are deeply loyal to their Queen. The majority of my work with/devotion involving them takes place in the Otherworlds, though I do interact with them Here, especially the children.
What I’ve learned from them over the years has been a lot about asking for help when I need it, and even more about Love and Family (including that I may want to be a father someday Here.) The Beasts are much wilder than any other spirits I deal with, but in their own way, they’re Family to me, and I love them.