This past weekend was a good one to reboot my faith. That’s a better word than “kickstart,” which suggests that it wasn’t moving at all. “Reboot” describes a religious practice which was sluggish and slow, and is now running more smoothly.
Some of the high points of spending a weekend with old friends and wise ones:
- I dedicated myself to Poseidon and took the new name of Terentios to signify my commitment to Hellenismos. It’s not a far stretch of a name; it’s the Greek name of the poet whose Anglicized name I carry.
- I saw a dear friend whom I haven’t visited with in person for some fifteen years, and her husband, whom I feel I have known all my life despite having just gotten to know him.
- I realized that the difference between being a fool and being wise is simply a matter of how you apply your ignorance.
My naming and dedication didn’t come without some apprehension. Heck, it’s taken me 30 years to return to the gods of my ancestors after I drank in the myths and tales as a child. One lesson that’s clear in those tales is that pissing off these gods is not a good idea, and I’m not above bollixing things from time to time. However, the nautical metaphors and symbolism which kept cropping up helped hammer home that this is a good path for me to follow, and that it will help me grow in new ways.
Encountering old friends is a mixed bag. They see you as they did when last you met, which means they might not take into account your growth. In this particular case, though, my friend always saw me for the man I would become, even when I was an overly-eager college student who rarely took time to think before speaking (and who spoke more than some people breathe). So instead of yanking me back, she again helped me push forward with that view of me.
I’ve long embraced the archetype of the Fool, because it gives me permission to be ignorant without feeling diminished. People don’t always see us as we see ourselves, though, and I found that my newer friends see that confidence as something else entirely. More than one person turned to me as a sounding board, and the fact that I succeeded in not giving advice when I had none to offer tells me that perhaps a kernel of wisdom is taking hold.
The number of lessons being dangled in front of me makes me wonder if “mid-life crisis” is just code for “I’m scared of what I’m going to find out as I age.”