Sunday, May 03, 2009

Be Reminded of the Good Remaining in this Tragic World

Things being as they are, we do the best we can, which is often not enough. There is a substantial sorrow that lingers.

The mythic tales are largely tragic, but they are not only tragic. There is also a sublime sense of triumph that comes from not giving up on the good even when it seems as if all hope might be lost. The Gods go to Ragnarok with boldness and confidence, even though it would seem they go to their own doom, but a doom is but a judgement cast upon deeds, and with such deeds, who can say how Urd will judge? Urd works in mysterious ways.

The Gods know that with some sacrifice, substantial good will come : the remaking of the world, a reshaping, a levelling of the playing field, a shaking out of the old ill, and thus all is not lost, not nearly so. Even though we live in times where often the ill and tragic seem to win out, the Gods say, the good in this world is still worth fighting for!

Yes, the noble often have a hard time of it ; yes, Heimdall's social system has often been turned on its head, with nidings in charge, and the wise at the bottom trying to scrape ahead, but even the small good that we can do each day is not without worth. And if we can hold the line, and carry the torch in a dark time of barbarism, the descendants will thank us, in a world quite different, in a world quite the same.

There is little we can do about the shape that has been given to this world in those misshapen days of tragedy. We are not Gods, we are not Giants ; but we have an eternal spirit capable of communing with the most powerful forces in the universe, and morale provides more strength than any brute muscle could know. We are small beings really, small containers through which great tides are capable of flowing.

We must go to these great tides from time to time, to refresh our spirit, to remind ourselves that the good in the marvels of the world still resides there, and that there are hidden strengths to remind us. The ocean reminds us, the sky reminds us, the earth reminds us, the hearth-fire reminds us, the love we feel, and the rage we feel at injustice reminds us.

O, if you are broken, come here and see the world still surging, resplendent, irrepressible! If dog-eat-dog has become your only vision, come see how freely the world gives! Come share in the majesty! Love with a thousand names will speak to you, saying, I am here in the waters, I am here in the loins, I am here in song and wisdom, I am here in freedom, I am here in joy, I am here in battles against injustice, I am here in strength challenging overwhelming immensity, I am here in the mother's arms wrapped around the womb ; and each voice has its own timbre, its own color, and longs to be celebrated in that great rainbow of God we call the Aesir, Vanir, and Alfar.

Cities are not good for men, declare the old ones. They shelter and contain too much. They over-shelter, and only the faintest echoes of marvel are heard. If the voices are faint, therefore, come out to the waters, come out into the night, come out into the meadows and woods, and hear the words that the Gods will speak to you through the poetic language of the heart.


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