So what do I do today?
My life seems to have settled into a very “Chop wood, carry water” kind of rhythm lately. In some ways I find this to be a little troubling. I feel like there should be some Big Work happening that leads to…I don’t know. A brilliant epiphany of some sort, I guess. These days, though, I feel like that Big Work is as yet unknown to me. I feel it there under the surface of what I do every day, but I don’t know what shape it will take, or what shape I’LL take, once it manifests. And in the meantime, the mortgage needs to be paid, the sidewalk will probably need to be shoveled for the 700th time of the season after tonight’s forecasted snow, and I owe my mom a letter that I really meant to write last weekend.
All of which brings me, in a way, to Tam Lin. Really, I promise. It’s not just that I’m trying to get some extra marketing out there in the blog today. (Although, um, I will point out that registration is open and space is filling up fast, so…yeah. You probably know the drill.)
In the telling of the story that I’m most familiar with, the heroine, Jennet, weaves a green mantle that she will later use to draw Tam Lin out of danger and into the mortal world. The green mantle becomes an artifact, a tool of great magic. It becomes so because of the work that Jennet puts into the mantle. It occurs to me that before the green mantle becomes an artifact of magic, it begins as a working of faith.
Because really, how can she know? How can she know that this mantle will be useful when the time comes? That it will be what’s needed to bring her love (her dream) into reality? That it will be enough to allow her to make manifest the impossible?
Right now, I don’t know what my Big Work is, or even what my Impossible Dream may be. What I do know is that there are things I can be doing that will make the world – my personal, intimate world – a better place to be. Lately those have looked a lot more like “Walk to the train every day instead of taking the bus,” than like “Make the impossible, possible.” They’ve felt more like “Stick to your budget again this week,” than like “Bring your deepest, truest longing forth into the light.” Or even, “Start that hard conversation, and really stay present this time,” instead of “Go to the border of Faerie and the mortal world and face down the Faerie Queen.”
Today, I’m choosing to have faith that those daily acts of weaving are important. That they’re vital to manifesting the deeper, bigger work, even when I don’t know what that work is. That faith may be misplaced, but I’m going to make the same choice tomorrow. And when I’m frustrated at being in this place of unknowing, I’ll try to remember that Jennet didn’t know either, not really.
The big work has a way of revealing itself in its own time, I find. And in the meantime, the mortgage is due in 4 days, that letter still needs to be written, and the snow is, as ever (or so it seems), coming yet again.
This post was written by Jason Frey