It really shouldn’t come to anyone’s surprise that failure is what I wanted to talk about today. Failure sometimes feels like the one thing I’m really good at.
How do I fail? Let me count the ways:
- I can’t keep a ritual calendar going. Every time I’ve worked one up, I drop the ball and it just stops. With the exception of Anthesteria, I’ve not been able to celebrate the same festival two years in a row ever since starting in Hellenic paganism.
- I can’t keep a daily practice going. I’ve started them, many times in fact. They’ve lasted for months at a time even. But eventually I forget one day and it them just putters out.
- I don’t cut it as a recon and I’m not really all that eclectic, nor a witch. I’m somewhere in the middle, which is sort of aggravating all around and really makes me feel wishy-washy. This one might be not be a true failure, but it feels like one.
- Can’t keep with a local community….but I lurk on the edges of many.
- And really, A Dionysian who doesn’t like wine? FAIL right there.
There’s more of course, rituals that don’t work out, contacts that fizzle, writing that falls flat and DIES. Arguments and poetry, invocations and prayers. Sometimes things just don’t work all that well and I have to pick myself back up and reflect. That’s what failure does, it lets us reflect on factors in our unsuccessful endeavors.
Have a figured out why I can’t keep a practice of a calendar going? No, although I certainly know what the contributions are: disability, time, ineffectiveness, disinterest. And I keep trying to find what will work. Maybe my next experiment will be more fruitful.
Don’t be afraid to try a new and tentative thing in your practice. Play with new ideas and concepts. See where they work and where they don’t. Allow yourself to fail, and accept it gracefully when you do.