Some days I wake up and feel so utterly boring and conventional. On such days, I never feel like anything I offer to my Lord is adequate. I just feel that something is missing.
When I give food, I try to be mindful of the hours of work my husband has put into earning the check that paid for the food. When I give plants and flowers, I keep in mind the energy and time that went into the plant creating the leaves and/or blossoms. These things all have a signature, they were all first touched by other spirits long before coming into my possession.
What claim do I really have to the offering, if I am so far removed from the labor, and thus, the reward of love that is required to create it? This thought kept bothering me, just nagging like crazy. I finally had to sit down in a quiet space and really think about my choices.
I, first, must contend with having little free time to spend creating labor intensive votive offerings. I try to grow what I can with a thumb that, sadly, was never green, but those few plants I do manage pretty much grow themselves, anyway. So, what could I do?
Well, the number one lesson that Apollon has drilled into me, over and over again, is this: Waste nothing. If all I ever seem to have the time and energy (most days) to do is clean my house, balance the finances, educate the child, and cook outstanding meals… then I’d better damn well figure out how to do all of that, while at the same time pushing the limits of my spiritual discipline and dedication.
How many adorations or prayers can I speak out to Him while sweeping? Can a reach an adequate trance state while washing the dishes? Can I properly shield myself while out running errands? Can I do it quickly? Can I take it down again? Can I be aware of what, and Whom, is surrounding me? Can I live my mundane life, while taking it a step further, into other Places? Can I cultivate a sense of oneness with my god, from the moment I awaken, to the moment sleep catches me again?
The answer is yes, and I’ve taken it further still, by tailoring every movement of my day (so far as I am able, with my coordination such as it is) toward efficiency and grace.
To me, this means in part, cleaning up in every room I enter into, and never leaving a mess to sit until I “feel like” fixing it. It also means keeping lists. Lots of lists, so nothing gets forgotten. But, even more than all of these, grace is the art of being graceful.
It means presenting a flawless curtsy to my Lord when passing by His altar. It means standing and sitting with the proper posture, and walking lightly, almost delicately. It means carrying a small, serene smile on my lips when I may be seen by others. Grace is a beautiful mask that hides every secret thought behind a screen of pleasantness. All of this helps me to create that comfortable distance between myself and the fast-paced world of humans. It is only this veneer of distance, which allows me to fulfill my duties to the spirits, and to my gods.
And, of course, grace is also the knowledge of being in the presence of the Divine, and the feeling of love and warmth that surrounds whenever I don the veil. Grace is beauty. Grace is efficiency. Grace is modesty. Grace is the naturally flowing course, because my life is so touched by the gods.
But, of course, I know all of this will mean different things to different people, and that my life will never measure up, by some standards. However, it is not my place to care about the biases of others. I will simply do my Work, and in the doing, shall be graceful.