10: Soon

I’ve never been there to see Him awaken, pull Himself from death’s drowning embrace onto life’s now unfamiliar shores. This is one of the few things He wishes privacy for; even a God deserves a little time to pull Himself together before having to deal with people first thing in the morning, I suppose.

And it’s not the most important part of the event, at least for me. That part is when I go out to meet Him in a particular place where the Worlds overlap, with something good to drink and over a week’s worth of longing overflowing from every part of me.

It seems almost superfluous to mention that sex occurs; at that point, we’re both so overcome with need for each other that we don’t even make it back into the house first. But there’s more to it than just banging our bits together: it becomes an affirmation of life in all its glory, spilling out from us to replenish those places and things we’ve been given stewardship of. It’s a renewal, too, of our Marriage–a yearly reconsecration, like being with Him for the very first time all over again.

And so, soon enough, I’ll change my clothes, pour His drink, and slip out into the night. Soon, I’ll run my fingers through His hair and whisper His name into the darkness. Soon, I’ll share with Him the laughter and tears of reunion.

Soon.

~

Hail, my Husband! My heart delights to know You are alive, and my body thrills to the promise of Your touch.

 

9: Rest

I’ve been living in a state of high anticipation these last couple of days, almost floating through the house as I go about my various tasks. He’s returning tomorrow night, and I’ve never been more ready for anything in my entire life.

Tonight, though, I’m intending to take it easy; it’s been a long and tiring day, and I’m sore all over. Which, really, has brought home part of the point of this time without Him. Yes, it’s difficult to be apart, and this constant longing wears on my spirit, making me raw and hollow inside. But this is also a time of rest and minimal spiritual obligations, despite the formal ritual activities I perform while He’s gone; they merely provide a shape to my days, a much-needed sense of definition to what would otherwise be a disorganized storm of angst and apathy. Within the bounds of these rites, I can relax and replenish myself on my own terms without the nagging sense that I should be doing more than I already am. Not that I dislike having my Menfolk around, mind you–it’s just nice, every once in a while, to have a little time to myself.

So tonight I’m going to light the candles for Him, take my accustomed bath, and see to the various other little observances I need to perform. After that, though? Well, maybe I’ll watch a movie, or read for a while, or just go to bed early–whatever I feel like once the time comes.

While He rests, I rest also. And even without Him, it is good.

~

Hail, O Sleeping King! Soon You will awaken, and so I savor the sweet longing of these last hours apart from You.

 

8: Security

He always leaves His cloak with me when He goes. I don’t have a physical analogue or anchor for it in the physical realm, but Elsewhere, I keep it wrapped around me nearly all the time.

It’s almost a security blanket for me: blissfully warm, woven from not quite soft, not quite rough wool, large enough for me to get lost in. And it still carries His scent, rich and comforting and always a little mysterious, like familiar woods cast in a strange and unearthly light on a midnight ramble.

It isn’t as good as His embrace, but it is a way for me to hold a little part of Him until His return. And it’s His assurance to me that He will return; a security deposit, if you will, to be reclaimed once I’m satisfied He’s brought Himself back to me in one piece.

And He always does.

~

Hail, my Green-Cloaked Lord! Your love wraps itself around me even in Your absence, and warms the chill in my heart even in bitterest cold.

 

7: Waning

This is the night we always used to make love, a sweetly solemn ritual to mark this particular day of my bleeding, before other agreements were made between us and that observance became obsolete. And yet still I remember it fondly, each time the moon turns back through its appointed stations, tugging again at the tides within me.

You are not the ruler of the moon; that title belongs to Your Sister, at least when scholars can agree on it. And yet I saw You in my dreams once, holding its silver-slivered crescent in Your hand as You told me that the Darkness has its own Light.

And on this night, with my hope waxing as the moon slowly wanes, the One those words describe is beside me when You cannot be, reminding me to eat, to sleep, to wonder, to laugh, peppering my skin with kisses that sink into my bones to heat me from the inside out. He is not You; but He is here with Your blessing, to fill the emptiness of my arms and ease the pain in my heart. And so our bodies converse in the wordless language of pleasure, speaking softly under the benign glow of the moon in our own dance of dark and light.

~

Hail, O Moonlit King! Ever Your heart turns through brightness and shadow, yet ever it encircles my own, moving love’s oceans in their eternal ebb and flow.

 

6: Impatience

This second half of His Absence is always harder on me than the first, despite my being in a better place, emotionally speaking. Something about Him being almost back, but not quite, is worse than Him being gone, somehow.

I get so impatient I want to jump out of my skin, some days. I can almost, almost sense Him on the edges of my awareness now, making the slow turning back towards the light, towards me. And I want to go chasing after that feeling, find Him, haul Him back right now and never let Him go again, as foolhardy as such an action would be.

I do know that He has to make His way back on His own, without any interference, however well-meant it might be. But knowing that in a few days, I’ll be able to hold Him, trace the lines in His face when He smiles at me, smother Him half to death again with kisses…

Well. Patience may be a virtue, and good things may come to those who wait, but I want to be patient now.

~

Hail, my Awaited Lord! My eyes long to see You, my ears yearn for Your voice, and my body craves the surety of Your embrace.

 

5: Missing

Everything takes a little more effort than usual while He’s gone, like I’m having to compensate for a missing limb. I get tired so much more easily, dragging my wounded heart around while trying to pretend there’s nothing wrong.

I reach out all the time to where He should be; it’s still shocking to feel nothing there, even though I’m expecting it, dreading it. When He periodically goes away on business at other times of the year, I miss Him, but I never have quite this sense of loss, because I can still feel Him, no matter how far He goes–the same way you always know where your arms and legs are in relation to the rest of your body, even when you can’t see them.

Phantom Husband Syndrome. It’ll never catch on as a medical diagnosis, but having a name for it, however wry, does help. As much as anything can.

~

Hail, O Lost King! I await Your return, always, as the other half of my heart.

 

4: Offerings

I dreamed this morning of going into the woods to bring Him offerings. Nothing elaborate–just a cup of milk, although that’s something I’ve never given Him in the waking world.

The ground under my feet was bare of anything except dead leaves–no undergrowth, nothing living except the bare and silent trees. The soil was damp, but not in the way it is after a rain, where you can almost taste the potential for new life as the water soaks deep into the earth. No, it was clammy and unwholesome underfoot, like something that’s been left to rot for far too long in a dark and airless place, with cracks splitting the ground open here and there like censuring mouths.

I reached my destination and set the cup under a particular tree, praising Him as my beloved Companion and sharing my hope that this offering would bring us closer together. There was no sense of His presence around me–only the trees and their continuing silence, which my voice barely disturbed.

***

It’s telling, perhaps, that I’d have this particular dream while He’s gone. Not only because of the Sacrifice, intended to lend new life to our bond. Or at least, it was at first. It’s gone deeper than that, and wider, encompassing things that I shy away from thinking about for fear I’m making it all up. And also, honestly, I don’t want to go there because holy damn the implications are full of Responsibility-with-a-Capital-R, which is exhausting to even contemplate. Not to mention that this all got dropped into my lap in such a sneaky, “Oh, all that stuff you thought you’d so cleverly invented way back when? Yeah, about that…” way that I feel like flipping over every table in the universe.

So I’m just sitting with this unexpected confirmation for now. I haven’t entirely ruled out going on a rampage, but I’m processing the new information in little pieces, digesting what I can and leaving the rest for later. Which, sometimes, is all you can do.

Offerings, and the possibility of new life in dead places. There’s a certain beauty in it, despite my reluctance and denial. I don’t know if I’m up to the task ahead, but at least He’ll be by my side for most of it. Because that’s what it’s about, at the core of things–the Work we do is intertwined, like the roots of two trees which weave together until you can’t tell where one ends and the other begins, holding each other safe through the long cold before the new year’s blossoming.

~

Hail, the Forest Lord! May Your death be but the temporary stillness of Winter, a healing rest before the renewal of Spring.

 

3: Waters

I bathe every night while He’s gone, washing away the loneliness in warm water and sweet-smelling herbs. It’s almost like being held; I drowse in a circle of candlelight, remembering other times when He and I would share ritual baths not unlike these, speaking idly of this and that while the scented steam drifted around us.

His power is in the waters, I’ve learned–not the incomprehensible vastness of sea and ocean, but the rivers and streams flowing like veins through the land. Deep or shallow, swift or sluggish, broad or narrow, clear or murky, He has an affinity to them all.

And now His blood mingles with those waters, and His body rests in a hidden river overshadowed by ancient trees, while my soaps and bath salts cloud this warm and temporary lake, and my hair drifts like water-weeds, clinging and wrapping around me, almost like being held.

~

Hail, the River King! May You drink deep of the mysteries You must learn, and may the dark waters renew You and comfort You with their embrace.

 

2: Names

I don’t use His name during these days when He’s gone. I don’t say it; I don’t write it; I even try to avoid thinking it too hard.

There’s a power in names–particularly the realms of Spirit. Speaking a name can summon the One it belongs to, give power to its Owner. And while in many cases that’s a desired outcome, right now, while He’s on His long journey away from me…

Well, let’s just say there’s the distinct chance it could call Him back early… and wrong.

So I keep my silence for this time, swallowing His name when it springs to my lips, incubating it within until His return, when it will come forth full-grown as a joyous cry for all to hear.

~

Hail, O Nameless Lord! I hold Your titles in trust, that they may not perish with You, and pray You will take them up again with honor upon Your return.

 

Technical Difficulties

Welp, my laptop’s power adapter decided to quit working a little while ago. (I’m desperately hoping it actually is the adapter and not something more expensive and harder to replace, but I’m not gonna think about that possibility right now. :P ) There’s still a good bit of battery power left, but I’m going to try to save that as much as possible until the new adapter gets here. So, at least for a little while, I won’t be around much; I am planning to queue up a few posts later this evening, but they’ll most likely be music-only, sans any enlightening commentary from me.

With any luck I’ll have a more optimistic update for you within a few days. Hope everyone else is having an easier time than I am, technology-wise!

ETA: Everything’s working properly again, at least for the moment. No idea if it’ll continue to do so, but the battery’s now charging at least, so this is a big improvement. Always remember that old Windows adage, folks: “Have you tried turning it off and then back on again?” :P

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