A note from Erin:
I’d love to share an excerpt I particularly loved from Michael Meade’s book Fate & Destiny:
“We are each woven into the common world of time and space, yet we are also secretly tied to things eternal. We each have a foot in time and a toehold in eternity; we have a foot in each world and a responsibility to both. We are made of the warp and woof of fate and destiny which taken together comprise that which is truly weird and inherently unique about us. Each life has its own weirdness, its indelible inner pattern and essential uniqueness that allow it to truly stand out from others.
Weird or wyrrd comes from old roots that include the German werden, meaning “to become, to grow.” The wyrrd is the way we are spun from within, the way we are shaped and styled and aimed at life. The wyrrd refers to that which we must become if we are to become our true selves. Our inner weirdness is also our divine connection. Our essential task in life is to awaken to the way that the eternal would speak through us, to learn to live out our intended personality and the inner weirdness that makes us a unique torchbearer of the flame of life. Only from this ground of destiny can an individual life truly make sense in the end.”
I love this: “Our inner weirdness is also our divine connection. The wyrrdrefers to that which we must become if we are to become our true selves.”That’s not unimportant. Divine connection, and the key to becoming ourselves?
How are YOU weird? How are you shaped and styled and aimed at life in your own particular way?
Do you love your weirdness as the “torchbearer of the flame of life?” Or try to keep it under wraps to appear “normal?” (Whatever the heck that might mean.)
“It takes courage to grow up
and become who you really are.”
e. e. cummings
I love this invitation to embrace our inner weirdness. There’s some kind of a relaxation I notice inside my gut with this invitation into trusting our life, honoring rather than pathologizing the ways we might not “fit.”An invitation to trusting our uniqueness, trusting our weirdness. And his reminder that we have a responsibility to both worlds: the timeless world and this particular time. Are we honoring our responsibilities to both? What might that look like? Today?
To me, it seems more relevant than ever. I think it was Meade who also said, “At times of crisis, genius emerges from the edges, not from the center of culture.” It implies the importance of our weirdness – the utter necessity of people who aren’t spending a lot of their energy on conforming to current cultural norms, but thinking outside the box. It carries the recognition that genius will emerge from people who are willing to trust their weird. The wyrrd; the threads of connection pulling us to become something unprecedented… like those brave teens who survived the recent school shooting in Florida and who are uninhibited in their response. We each embody a unique intersection of the eternal and the current. If ever our weirdness and daring to vision has been needed, it is now.
Lara Vesta writes, “This is how we change culture, too. By allowing what must come through to birth in us, by being imperfectly in service to the creative spark of life, by loving the process of challenge and taking, as Martha Graham says in her beautiful letter to Agnes De Mille, “leap after leap into the dark.” She says, “Keep the channel open…”
Being imperfectly in service….
We can do that.
We can do that.
I recently had a conversation with my friend Kinde Nebeker, with whom I’m honored to host a Grief Tending ritual at Great Salt Lake next month. She talked about her interest in supporting people who are bending culture in good directions. We can do that too: bend culture. Doesn’t that sound weird? How excellent.
Here’s a little musing from my own weirdness this morning:
I want to be fiercely dedicated to praising. I want to find a way to keep softening my heart toward the beings who piss me off. I want to write to my dying uncle all the things I love and appreciate about him. And I want to write that also to everyone else I love whose dying is not so obviously approaching. I want to make my own dictionary of terms for things I believe are important. I want to protect the early morning hours from digital technology. I want to track my dreams, like the one two nights ago where a viper bit me on each wrist. I want to jiggle my legs and shimmy my shoulders and shake out all the stuckness and dance and dance and dance until I’m exhausted. I want to commune with the wisdom of my ancestors all the way back to the beings who made Venus of Willendorf 28,000 years ago, those beings who danced and walked and healed and dreamed and sang and lived in a very different way than we do now. I want to apprentice myself to wisdom, to hold space for listening to earth and the emergent mystery. I want to write love letters to my son. I want to walk in the mountains till my legs vibrate, then pause to skygaze as I lay myself on the earth. I want to make time for aimless wandering even when my to-do list haunts me. Especially then. I want to write recipes like I actually cook, which is nothing like a regular recipe. I want to keep thinking outside the box as if our lives depend on it, and when the walls of nonsense start to close in again, as they do, I want to punch a hole and step outside the box again. I want to tip more than necessary even when I feel I can’t afford it because I remember what it was like to be a server, and mostly, they deserve better tips. I want to hibernate in the winter and blossom in the spring. I want to honor my ancestors, all the way back to stardust, and to remember in every action those future generations to whom I am an ancestor. I want to honor their lives with how I live. I want to bend culture toward beauty. I want to plant fruit trees and berry canes and sunflowers. To listen for wisps of inspiration and not discount them. I want to say fuck no to nazis and racism and de-protecting wilderness and to general bullshit and I want to help the people who become so disconnected and mean to befriend their agonizingly tender hearts. I want to slow way down. I want to require myself to read at least as much poetry as I do news. I want to always bring my own mug and not throw a cup away for every coffee I drink. I want to keep calling each other out of distraction, anesthesia, and amnesia to wake up! I want to read myths and stories. I want to hear your stories. I want to make beauty. And celebrate beauty and thriving wherever it occurs. (Not glamour – but beauty.) I want to feel myself as part of the web of life, and when I forget, I want to do what’s necessary to re-member again. I want to walk in the canyons with pockets full of birdseed and beautiful stones and sprinkle offerings all around. I want to dance more, and feed the birds more, and write more letters and fewer emails and to notice trees and rivers as beings worthy of respect. I want to unshame us all. I want to pause to appreciate sunrise and sunset. I want to gather to celebrate over beautiful food. I want to inhabit my feet and kiss the earth with each step. I want to admire grass. I want to root in my indigeneity. I want to make slow soup and homemade sourdough bread and share it. I want to make a thousand invitations a day to come back to life and feel you’re not alone. You’re not alone. I want to drive with a trunk full of roses and pass them out to people who look like they need such beauty and random kindness. I want to let my heart break, again and again. I want to wake grateful for another day. I want to praise like a poet.
How about you, friend?
We’ve shared this poem before but I’m inspired to share it again this morning. It’s such a goodie. Another invitation to embrace your weirdness:
Sometimes the world feels inhospitable.
You feel all the ways that you and it don’t fit.
You see what’s missing, how it all could be different.
You feel as if you weren’t meant for the world, or the world wasn’t meant for you.
As if the world is “the way it is” and your discomfort with it a problem.
So you get timid.
You get quiet about what you see.
But what if this?
What if you are meant to feel the world is inhospitable, unfriendly, off-track in just the particular ways that you do?
The world has a you-shaped hole in it.
It is missing what you see.
It lacks what you know.
And so you were called into being.
To see the gap, to feel the pain of it, and to fill it.
Filling it is speaking what is missing.
Filling it is stepping into the center of the crowd, into a clearing, and saying, here, my friends, is the future. Filling it is being what is missing, becoming it.
You don’t have to do it all, but you do have to speak it. You have to tell your slice of the truth.
You do have to walk toward it with your choices, with your own being.
Then allies and energies will come to you like fireflies swirling around a light.
The roughness of the world, the off-track-ness, the folly that you see, these are the most precious gifts you will receive in this lifetime.
They are not here to distance you from the world, but to guide you into your contribution to it.
The world was made with a you-shaped hole in it.
In that way you are important.
In that way you are here to make the world.
In that way you are called.
Wishing you a wonderful day, and the courage to embrace what makes us weird.