I’m going to offer up an unpopular and perhaps controversial take: sometimes, giving up is the best thing you can do for yourself. Of course, I don’t mean this in a general, overarching sense — I wholeheartedly subscribe to the idea that you should try to put your best foot forward in everything you do. However, pushing oneself to the point of risk, pain, or suffering is counterintuitive. I believe many of us semi-regularly find ourselves in unintentionally precarious positions, teetering on the brink of outstanding achievement and complete mental and spiritual breakdown.
We undertake new projects, commitments, and life goals with positive aims (at least, we should). Still, when we begin a new journey, it’s impossible to know how unknown challenges will affect us and what other obstacles might present themselves along the way. In today’s competition culture – spurred on largely by social media’s stranglehold on us – it’s easy to compare ourselves against our friends, associates, family, and idols and feel a sense of insecurity, jealously, or unworthiness. In some cases, we bite off more than we can chew because we feel guilty or poorly about our current situations, as though our present load isn’t enough, or isn’t as impressive or important as someone else’s. We become ensnared by the idea that suffering is good for the soul when, in fact, suffering is hindering our ability to alleviate stress and rebalance our mental and physical health. Continue reading “Never give up … except when you should: A love letter to the quitters” →
In the camp of the undead soldier, torches blaze with great fury as though an anger hides on the wind, whipping embers and dragging flames into the air with great points that swirl in funnels toward the blackness of night.
The air is dense with the fire’s heat, but the ground grows cold and there is a damp chill in the air that makes mortal flesh yearn for shelter and comforts. There is nothing like that in this camp, however — no relief or fellowship, at least not for her. She pauses in the distance and takes a last look at the velvet blanket of sky above and beyond, speckled with celestial diamonds. She must force her heart to stone. As much as she wishes to recall their time in the pale caress of the star-cast glow, she leeches the feelings from her very bones. The sun and moon have danced across the sky many times since that time, and he has changed from light to dark; from red to black.
Continue reading “From Red to Black” →
The raindrops are gray ravens, their call resounding in his ears and brushing at his full cheeks with a feathery and woeful constant. He exhales spirit mists into the blue dawn and rests his tired spine against the slippery wooden bones of the hut’s exterior. There has been a sound in his mind since she left, something like a sigh, a whisper, or a wanting suggestion of desire on the wind, the kind that whistles through the trees and around mountain passes during the winter’s coldest chill.
He pushes his bare toes into the black earth and reaches, eyes closed, for the worn wooden lyre at his side. The sky’s weeping moistens and swells the soundbox and bridge, and like tears on lashes, it slips off the horsehair strings. He is a dark echo of Freyr, conjuring the day’s weeping with his existence, but revolving and drowning in this boggy domain so far in his mind from anything that resembles a shining sun.
Continue reading “We are Like Ravens” →
There’s a feeling in the air. Something dense, full, and saturated with memory, sadness, and desire. A cutting wind whips around the wooden threshold and the cold assaults the flesh like thousands of pricking daggers. It’s tireless, unrelenting, and impossible to escape or ignore.
Cast the runes on the white furs. Cast the runes till the spirit stirs.
Orange shimmering flames spark and pop in the middle of the small room — their heat colliding with the damp freeze that pours into the hut through aged cracks and carefully aligned seams and beams. The sensation of snow is all around, despite the fire, fresh straw, and pelts that pack the space.
His deep exhale emits feathery apparitions, and with each breath, it’s as though the pieces of time that comprise him are wrestling to break free and realize a place somewhere in the immortal plane.
Cast the runes for the fighter lost. Cast the runes for the heart betossed.
Continue reading “We are Like Wolves” →