For a while now, I have been craving a devotional practice.
I am very, very good at devotion. Specifically, I am very, very good at devoting myself to other people. I will pour my life into another human being given half the fucking chance. I will see the God in them, and I will bow to it. Oh yes. That feels good. Relationship as a devotional practice is my paradise. But that is a double edged sword, and I haven’t found a partner to wield it with safely. And I have learned very painfully that it cannot be wielded alone. You’d think that would be obvious, but apparently not to me.
At the beginning of the year, I asked for a practice – a healthy place to pour my devotion. I was pushed toward aikido, and volunteering with Samaritans. When I started to rebel against the ideas, because they involved organised groups, I was guided to ‘trust the container’.
For a few weeks, that was my mantra: ‘trust the container, let it transform you’. And then I fell off the aikido wagon for a while, when I needed to process some things and the idea of being around people was egregious to me. I wondered whether I was being unfaithful or true to myself. I never really figured it out. But I climbed back aboard when I could, proudly and with renewed exuberance. Trust the container, it is transforming you.
And then the container was abruptly dismantled. Aikido was cancelled. Samaritans training was cancelled.
I didn’t mind. If I trusted the container, I trusted its dismantling. But what to do with my devotion now? I could still practice aikido on my own, to a certain extent. But it was no longer a container. It had more the sensation of momentarily joining a river, and that was not what I was seeking.
So my devotion sloshed around for a while, in lockdown. I poured it on my son, I poured it on myself, I poured it on my home, all in a somewhat chaotic fashion, and it was fine. For a while, that worked just fine. But I have so much fucking devotion, it’s starting to overspill. I need more outlets. This life is too small for all this devotion. I don’t have time for all this devotion. What do I do with all my devotion?
One of the things I do now, is this.