Every morning, I greet the Sun as it rises. Whether I am indoors or outdoors, I take the moment of sunrise to stop and try to empty my mind. Its not the easiest task in the world, after all – I have a billion thoughts roaming around in there at any given time. The goal is to relax for a few moments, and start the day fresh with a new focus and a cup of coffee in my hand.
My evenings tend to wind up the same. I wait for the sun to settle below the horizon, and as I watch the ebbing tide of light disappear, I do a reverse of the morning moment. I spend a few moments taking inventory of how the day went, what I managed to accomplish, and what still needs a few moments of my time.
I have never been big on ritual. If you have read me enough here, you are aware of that. But I really need to establish that a little more. I’m not a huge fan of formalized ritual. I don’t see a need for formalized movements and recited words and prayers. Instead, I seek conversations – with myself, with my backyard trees, with the birds that are flitting from branch to branch in the evening, with the Kami, whose presence I feel in the nearby area.
Ok, I get it. I understand the wide-eyed, “you’re so strange” look you are giving me right now. But before you call out the guys with the butterfly nets, and tell them I need a new sweater that ties in the back – let me push this out in return. Why is that when a person – let’s use the generic concept of a “Christian” as an example – why is that when that person prays out loud to God or Jesus, their prayers are not consider to be a point of mental confusion? Its the same thing – you know.
When I hold conversations with the trees, the birds, and the Kami – its the same concept of prayer. Except that I am not asking them for anything. I’m not wanting anything from them. Except a moment of their time. I’m not asking them to intercede on my behalf. I’m quite capable of fixing my own fuck-ups, thank you very much. All I am seeking is a momentary interaction – on a personal and private level. Sometimes I get answers, sometimes I get responses. Most of the time, I don’t. But I still want to take the time, just incase I might get some form of a response.
I would suppose the same can be said to be true of the Christian that prays – out loud or silent. They pray to God or Jesus, not necessarily expecting much of a response, but they do so – just in case there may be a response of some sort. And yet, despite the similarity, I’m the one that gets labeled as mental head-job. I’m the one that is told that I am living in a Fantasy World. But the conversation would be flipped to a positive if it were God and/or Jesus.
I’m not saying this to tear-down what a Christian may have in the way of a personal, private interaction with God or Jesus. In fact, I would applaud anyone who has managed to cultivate that relationship. I have a similar relationship with Crow. I don’t always get told what to do, or how to feel – sometimes its just a “checking in” thing. But because Crow is not Jesus, because Crow is not the Christian God — I’m the one that gets the label of “mentally not there” — even despite the similarities. All because the name is different. And to be perfectly honest, I find that to be very sad.