you rise from the earth like some radiant Lord Vishnu, your sable locks and sun-kissed skin dusted in a rainbow of flower pollen like vibrant Holi powder, but those who watch your ascent in awe don’t know you’ve covered yourself in this floral beauty to hide the bloodstains beneath, nor what godly corpse may lay hidden in the blooms at your feet
blossom and bumblebee embrace
share a sip of sweet spring nectar
and part the better for the favor
Beware promises of unearned victory:
a true god will promise only
to put the sword in your hand
and teach you how to use it.
Perhaps we should have let her burn.
Perhaps the flames were a gift,
a divine invitation to free ourselves
from this obsession with edifice and artifice.
Perhaps if she had burned to the ground,
we might have seen that sacred space
requires no cathedral to exist.
Sometimes I forget devotion doesn’t have to be a ceaseless uphill battle. Dedication isn’t solely proven in the offering of blood, sweat, and tears, nor can love even grow in such salt-sown soil. The gods don’t require us to suffer to earn their love; they offer it freely and value only that which is given freely in return. In my quest to better myself, to uphold Ma’at and minimize the isfet I put out into the world, I forget devotion can be as simple as spending a quiet moment with the gods over a cup of tea. I don’t need to lash myself bloody in penitence or spend every moment analyzing the darkest parts of my psyche to make spiritual progress. In fact, my entire framework for the concept of spiritual progress is probably questionable – why do I imagine it as a path leading in one direction, instead of a vast land in which I could go any direction or even stop for a time? If there’s no end goal in mind, no specific destination, why do I feel so pressured to hurry forward? I can rest. I can sit in the shade and enjoy the moment without worrying if it’s helping me become a better person. I feel my connection to the divine like an unbreakable tether from my heart to theirs. Our hearts are one; I am right where I am meant to be.
I will tell you a secret: sometimes it is good to fall. You do not always need wings to keep you aloft or a rope at your ankle to stop your descent. Sometimes what you need is to leap freely from the cliff’s edge and feel the way you become weightless, a creature of air and light. The wind whips past you, the sky lays far beyond your feet, and you fall for a breathless eternity through a stream of colors. Then you pierce the water’s calm surface and you continue to fall, plunging into cold, clear liquid that embraces your every curve. Deep in those indigo depths you finally surrender your momentum, gravity releases its hold for just a moment, and the water buoys you back up to the surface. That is how it feels to leap in faith and fall into the embrace of the divine. Be fearless. Be weightless.
The psychic said if I keep flying so close to the sun I’ll burn my skin and melt my wings, but she doesn’t understand how good that heat feels when it’s enveloping you in bright white radiance, when you are consumed and infused by divinity, nor does she understand how you’re glad to burn when that blazing force is the love of the divine, searing in its intensity, perhaps, yet uncompromising and unconditional, pure joyful affection which warms you to your core, and so I do not begrudge her words even as I tilt my wings to capture the next updraft into my solar mother’s waiting arms.