I've very recently become super out of touch with my immediate world. That is to say, I left Facebook.
I have forever maintained two FB accounts. One for my mundane existence and another that is my (mostly) happy FB. I've went through periodic purges of my mundane FB, as well as mostly hiding everyone and everything that makes me feel awful inside, makes me want to kill people and serves as a general reminder that Darwin no longer rules.
At various points it occurred to me that it was really more trouble than it was worth to maintain mundane FB and I should just deactivate it. But, always, my brain would bargain. What about your college roommate that you only get to see on FB? What about your friend now several states away and that is the only way you communicate? What about....
In reality, should I want to communicate with any of the people I want to communicate with, I can. Via text or phone call. Via email or letter (you know, the old fashioned ways). And the truth is, FB makes me feel wasteful and unproductive. I'm speaking specifically of my mundane FB here - my "other" FB sparks lovely conversations, I use it as a communication tool for this site and at some point it will be one of the marketing functions of my farm sanctuary. LOL I guess that life with social media hasn't changed much from the days of old, where you hung out with people at an actual, physical location. That is to say, your daily experience all depends on the people you surround yourself with?
But, I will say, not being on mundane FB is extremely freeing. You just don't know how awesome it is to say - no I didn't see that, I'm not on Facebook anymore with regard to some piece of gossip, ridiculous behavior or post. I thought I might feel out of touch but I actually feel better. Less a part of the daily nastiness that social media seems to bring out in people. I have often felt that instead of junior high and high school cafeterias we now have Facebook. And WHY are 45 year old women still eating lunch and gossiping in high school cafeterias anyway? Don't we have better things to do? I mean, gosh, I had better things to do at 16 actually (hence sneaking away from lunch almost daily).
Social media has given us the ability to stay connected, to share and to communicate more readily. Those things can be really, really good. It has also given us the ability to be mean as hell, be gossip mongers, render our opinions on everything whether we actually know anything or not, and all this can be done from the safety of our computer screen or mobile device. Therefore, we are more powerful in our human shortcomings, more brazen in our hatred and more easily led down the road of mob behavior by whatever the spewing of the day happens to be.
And for those of us who feel deeply, who live by some beliefs and hopes and dreams that are outside the "normal" realm of sheepdom, Facebook becomes a bit of a field full of landmines ready to explode beneath us at every click of the key. I got no time for that. Life is difficult enough without inviting drama and that is mainly why I am mundane FB free at this point :)
One of my favorite Solstice ritual readings comes from the album Beautiful Darkness with Jessica Radcliffe, Lisa Ekstrom and Martin Simpson. The song, Kolyada/Old One, sums up perfectly the Winter Solstice and the longest night for me. I recite it yearly during my ritual.
Since I'm obviously derived from some pale and mostly angry lineage, I am drawn to music and myth of this sort. My mind's renderings of gods and goddesses are mostly untamed and alive amongst the woods and mountains of the world. They are the bringers of storms and the harbingers of hearth and fire itself.
I find it more difficult to locate history and myth for what I'm drawn to. While there is endless information on Greek mythology, Roman gods and goddesses, Nordic myth is only slightly more common than its Slavic cousin's story weaving ~ simply two different classifications of Europeans, yes, but given that geographical magic varies from South Carolina as opposed to Arizona, I feel like it matters. Anyway, because I was curious about my favorite Solstice music, I went searching. I found an interesting article containing Kolyada from The Songs of the Russian People by William Ralston and Shedden Ralston. Good reading if you are interested in Slavic history and myth.
I long for many things as the morning after Solstice rises. I played music well into the night, went to sleep to it actually, and will continue to be hypnotized by those sounds until Imbolc. For me, although the Longest Night has passed, I'm still deep in the earth right now, still down at the bottom of my soul, searching, wandering through the hallways of myself, not yet reaching for the world above.
My prayer is for understanding. For knowledge. For growth.
On the Longest Night, as time stands still, so close to the edge of never and forever...let us breath softly and speak to the fire in our souls. Nurture it and hold it close as the night wraps us in silence and walks us down that spiral staircase to the basement of our being, belonging, our roots. We will not race for the Sun in the morning. Instead, we will linger with Darkness a bit longer, slowly ascending toward the light while speaking in whispers about what lies beneath. Keep us whole in our journey into ourselves and let us emerge evolved yet familiar in spirit and strength.