Update

Not sure if I’m really ‘back’, but I’m well enough to be looking at a computer screen for a little while? And to be able to face even glancing at social media?  Two and a half months…several very near brushes with death.  Bad hard scary times and a lot of physical (and emotional) pain.  I still don’t remember most of it, to be honest.  It’s like coming out of a thick fog.  I was drugged for a lot of it, mind.

Waiting on full treatment for spinal degeneration among other things, and also having intensive therapy for PTSD – thanks to the kind mercies of family, after having been quite literally left to die by bigoted public services while in health crisis (the ambulance was literally out again hours after they refused treatment).  (And when I did access treatment, life-threatening side effects nearly did for me, can’t fucking win…)  I’m walking a little bit again, on crutches (having discovered spine = too much pain to use a wheelchair).

It’s…very hard.  Going from doing 10 hr physical work days outside, on the land, with horses, to being bedridden, only seeing the ceiling…  I don’t remember a lot of it, to be honest.  Now I can walk a few steps, stand on grass at least.  My weight’s dropped 3 stone from this time last year, a stone of it in 3 weeks.  Loose skin from muscle wastage + fat loss; hope to god it’ll tighten up at some point (yeah vanity may be the least of my concerns in some ways but what else do I have?).

I’m having to rebuilt myself, my life, from the ground up.  Been through The Tower; now trying to rest in The Star, which doesn’t come naturally to me at all.  I always want to hit the ground running, work shit back up, and I just…can’t. A lifetime of doing that, of coping, led to the complete mental and physical exhaustion that let this happen.  I mustn’t, or I’ll end up back where I was.  Doctors say a year to being 5 on a 1-10 scale mentally, physical prognosis completely unknown.

Since I’m rebuilding myself I’m facing the same with my craft, too.  Unpicking the tangled stitches, going back to basics (which every time you go back – or forward – to them are deeper, wilder, wider, stranger…).  I don’t know how anything will look any more, including me.  To hold onto any old assumption now is to endanger myself — who or whatever this new self, being stripped clean of everything, is or will be.

Who owns those scrawny little feet?    Death.
Who owns this bristly scorched-looking face?    Death.
Who owns these still-working lungs?    Death.
Who owns this utility coat of muscles?    Death.
Who owns these unspeakable guts?    Death.
Who owns these questionable brains?    Death.
All this messy blood?    Death.
These minimum-efficiency eyes?    Death.
This wicked little tongue?    Death.
This occasional wakefulness?    Death.

Given, stolen, or held pending trial?
Held.

Who owns the whole rainy, stony earth?    Death.
Who owns all of space?    Death.

Who is stronger than hope?    Death.
Who is stronger than the will?    Death.
Stronger than love?    Death.
Stronger than life?    Death.

But who is stronger than Death?
Me, evidently.
Pass, Crow.

(Ted Hughes, Examination At The Womb Door)

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& what is the work of this god?

I turned thirty-five this weekend.

Thirty-five is one of those times when people go SO HAVE YOU FIGURED OUT WHAT YOU’RE DOING WITH YOUR LIFE, THEN? a lot. (Often, in my case, coupled with, “Weren’t you at law school anyway, what happened to that?” to which the answer “I was raped and had a nervous breakdown” is generally considered awkward and unacceptable.)

I’m putting this pressure on myself a lot right now, especially as my ESA won’t run a lot longer and I’ll have to do more than the ~permitted work~ freelancing I’ve been doing. Because of course what people mean is, DO YOU FINALLY HAVE A CAREER HOW ARE YOU MAKING MONEY NO SERIOUSLY WHAT DO YOU ~DO FOR A LIVING~. (And hell, what I’d LOVE to be doing is going back to uni to actually *study what I’m interested in* for the first time but ahahah money >.<)

And…they don’t really go for answers like “ritual sodomite” or “oracular madman” or “witch who does weird shit with bones and words” or “ecstatic devotee of gods you think are dead”. But…maybe I need to accept that that’s what I’m doing with my life and I actually *have* figured that out, in a way, really. I mean, it’d be nice if it paid more, but…I *am* doing those things, they’re what I’m ~doing with my life~, and have been for a hell of a long time.

Yeah, I need to obtain money because: got to eat, roof over head, poverty is exhausting etc etc. But I need to stop beating myself up because I’m 35 and I don’t Have A Career. Because…I have a Call, and an Obligation – and I need to stop buying into the idea that that’s less important than where my money comes from.

(…I still need some fucking money, ta.)