Endigar 204

Ritual.  It seems that the power of ritual protects us.  And my experience shows that we protect that which protects us.  I was taught ritual in the act of brushing my teeth.  I wanted to keep strong healthy teeth that would allow me to eat.  But as I grew into adolescence, I discovered that dental health was necessary to an appearance and mouth odor that allowed me to connect with my peers.  And as I became an adult, it started my day, and defined the fact that I was pushing myself forward, out there, and it was time for the show to begin.

I think I have discovered that my most devastating fears and guilt are derived from violating my own personal rituals, that flow out of my own personal mythology.  It is not a violation of some external written code that shames me.  It is the loss of faith in my own personal ritual.  Then I have that sense of impending doom.  

The military has had me do many things that are beyond my perceived capabilities.  I learned to do certain things to adequately face these fears of falling short.  I go through a ritual of indulgence leading up to the event.  Then, on the cusp of time to perform, I get very serious, and I shave.  I pack or prepare something that I am going to wear or carry.  I do this in a place away from my most intimate dwellings.  I put my gear in the center of the living room, and distance myself from it after I have put it in a quick-carry order.  It has worked in the past…to a degree. 

Powerlessness is a human condition, because it is the wrapped up in our self-awareness.  It is a flaw within our perfection that prompts spiritual evolution.  Death is the ultimate expression of this powerlessness, this disconnection from life and social energy, the rejection of our application for godhood, the insignificance of a lifetime devoted to…rituals.  My youthful appearance that I have spent a lifetime cultivating and advancing, will fade.  A caricature of who I am will replace me.  And then I will simply … disappear from this place of my primary investment. 

Humans, me included, are driven to answer the inevitability of death with various pursuits of empowerment.  The process of this 12 step recovery program  contains protective rituals that we promote and protect, to counter our own form of living death. 

I am going to take a PT test that, in all likelihood, I am going to fail.  My respiration, my bane since infancy, is working against me.  My left side hurts.  My left kidney area hurts.  Saliva leaks out of the left corner of my mouth.  Knee joints in pain most of the time.  I will have to invite new and more intense rituals to resist the inevitable.

There is some slimmer of hope that if I can ignore my limitations and embrace the pain, I will make it.  But I have never achieved that level of self-abandonment.

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