Why I Love Sorrow

The story of the Egyptian Goddess Isis tapped a long buried part of me, a part of me that felt betrayed and steeped in sorrow since I was a little girl.

Isis loved her brother Osiris and was – in keeping with the autonomy of the gods – also his wife. But their younger brother Set slaughtered Osiris in a jealous rage and scattered his body parts needlessly. Isis and her sister Nephthys swiftly scoured the land for his parts, and Isis magically pieced him back together, securing one night to consummate their love and bear their son Horus. Isis hid Horus from the fierce Set until Horus could one day battle Set himself. Horus lost an eye to Set but gained his freedom and power in the end. Osiris became the God of the Dead, and Isis was revered and worshipped as a cunning and maternal protector.

So adored was this trilogy of power, even the Greek King Alexander the Great embraced the sacred family of gods, and the love for Isis eventually extended even to England.

The part of this story that cut me deep was at the heart of Isis’ lifelong sorrow and it was as though I could feel it. The shock of losing her lover, and their beautiful life together, as a result of someone who should have also loved them. The sorrow of such an early death. The sorrow of betrayal. The sorrow of being hated for her own divine beauty and strength. The fact that she was a badass who tricked Ra, therefore obtaining her magical strength, and usurped the power of wicked Set only made her a goddess I felt would inspire hope.

Because she didn’t just leave it all alone and grieve and weep and sulk and curl up and die. She didn’t lament for long, even though that sort of loss can never be fully healed.

She did something about it.

She took back what was salvageable, and birthed something from it.

She rose to an even greater power, that which comes from the mutual devotion of her people, and the respect of the gods. The lessons of these divine entities is always a relatively simple one. Isis represents an idea, a spiritual value of rising up and choosing the way of the survivor, the path to make things right. She comes to accept that greater things are now at hand. A son born of sorrow and love now emerges, and glory is restored!

Who better to watch out for others, to empathize and protect us than someone who had been shattered by loss, then rallies and flourishes?

For who could be better to help the suffering than those who have suffered as well? Who better to bring hope and power to those who feel beaten and despondent? Who better to bring the sorrowful world back to life and fight until it is won?

Who would better know about the need for courageous love than those who were once hated?

No one.

DON’T WORRY ABOUT ME

It won’t be a problem

For me

I’m already moving

I will fly over your waves

Dive deep in my watery caves 

And flush the sting

‘Til it’s numb

Make mad love to the gods

Slip and curl on the kitchen floor

Rhythmic souls need no one

I won’t just paint it out

I will be the art

That makes you shiver

Hammer it down under my feet

And let it burn in my lungs

Let the hobos stare. 

They’re mouthing something now.

My ears are already screaming.

It’s a comfort when no one can 

Make it worse.

Tell my girls only fools

Say no 

And cackle witchy words

When the darkness floods

My room

Unleash the monsters

From my throat

Cry the fierce resounding gall

Don’t worry about me.

I’m already over it.

— Isa

Why Online Dating is a Spiritual Experience: Part Five – The Aftershocks

The full-on Corona quarantine lasted about 70 days in Minnesota before things loosened up. I had just arrived in my Lowertown St Paul one-bedroom loft at the disoriented start of Covid. My youngest son moved in with his brother; therefore, I would be living alone at age 55 for the first time in my life.

Dating Online slid onto the back burner for a bit. My time online checking profiles and intercepting messages from strangers came to a halt largely because, after Sam (Part 4), I switched my profile to private mode, which meant only those I “liked” would see me. I didn’t like anyone for a good month or more.

Oh sure, I still looked here and there out of habit. Online Dating Sites are highly addictive. But my heart wasn’t in the game.

I had unfortunately landed in a ghost city that held dirty crusty snow, the filth of early spring, and only the homeless people lingered. Everyone else was gone. I spent approximately 23 hours a day alone, isolated in a place where I knew no one. My plans of attending recovering meetings and the artist co-op were ruins in a wasteland. There were no open restaurants. Well, of course, you know.

I had to spend a lot of time teaching high school online then; I was finishing my final year before retirement. There would be little fanfare.

Never before had I felt such crushing loneliness.

What would a woman do with online dating now anyway? Meet some guy in a park like secret agents?

Do you wear a medical mask on a date?

What are the actual risks of human contact? This was a whole new level of awkward. It was just an absurd notion to date now.

In mid-April, I toyed with a couple fish on the phone, but within a day or two released them back to the wild. One guy strung me along on the phone for three days, then finally confessed he was never going to be serious with any woman. It was bleak.

Have you ever sat in a silent room and listened to the analog clock? Time during the Covid isolation became an entirely new dimension. There are many life experiences that have taught me about time, and I often consider time to be a fascinating and spiritual thing. I moved every spring the majority of my childhood. I knew what a year meant, how long it took to form a bond, to attach, to be a person people could name.

I spent a total of 12 hours under a tattoo needle at one point in my life.

My first son was born with 16 hours of hard labor.

I have studied spiritual texts an estimated 3, 950 hours.

I have lived with chronic pain in my neck and shoulders for over 6,000 days.

I have been married four times in less than half the years my sister has been married once.

My time dating online was a blink.

During the third week of Covid, I began to cry a lot. Only divine worship and Netflix kept me sober.

By the 6th week, I was angry. I was bitterly resentful at the plight of my life and the love I might not ever find. But I had done what I always do. I turned it inward upon myself and buried the poison in my bones. That is a very bad thing to do to oneself. And it doesn’t work. I remember sitting on my favorite chair and saying out loud, “No. I’m better than this.”

So I began to shower more. I started taking risks to see my sons just to have human contact. I went out to walk to the park reserve every single day; grocery shopping became the high point of my week. I made elegant meals for one. I was letting my hair grow out, painting and doing yoga again, and Zooming with my new sponsor daily. I danced by myself a lot. I was rising like a phoenix. And I was doing it alone. I was remembering that while I will always long for love, I can still be someone that I like right now. My spirit was coming back to life.

This is what spiritual warriors must do.

As the school year ended, I had one week left of my online dating membership. We all watched in horror at the fall of George Floyd. The city began to burn and the glorified cell in which I was living became my refuge after curfew. I thanked the gods I could breathe every single morning, since I was a privileged white woman and Covid hadn’t killed me yet.

Ironically, the day before Floyd was killed, I had contact with an African American man just two days before the finish line. He was the only man I met in person through the dating site since Sam back in February. I had never dated a black man, and this was a pretty intense time to start. He was beautiful and classy and maybe even overqualified by my standards. Kissing him was a timeless wave of dancing underwater. I saw him three times before I realized I was more in love with the idea of him than the actual man himself. I had done that once before, fallen into an idea that wasn’t real, and spent the rest of my life carrying the guilt of it. I told him I wasn’t feeling it. He played it cool and let go with the ease of a champion. And just like that, he was but a strange and distant dream.