I’m a homebody at heart. I even telecommute to my job. It’s fairly common for me to be inside for days on end and not just because winter storm Nemo dropped about 22 inches on me a week ago. I also get fairly anxious when I step out of my comfortable home regardless of whether I choose to leave or if circumstances take me away from it. I’ve even talked myself out of attending concerts for which I’ve already purchased tickets!
I’ve been watching PantheaCon from afar this weekend and envied the people in attendance for the experiences they’re having and questioning, as some at the convention have done as well, the importance of reaching out online to the greater Pagan community. I’m never going to stop involving myself in the online community, in a lot of ways I consider you all to be my community, but I do question sometimes if there’s more that I could be doing.
We call this site Pagan Activist. “Activist” implies action; implies doing. But, too often I find that I feel like I’m not doing enough. For months I’ve been working with members of the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy on the formation of a Pagan chapter for it. I’ve spoken with other Pagans on the topic as well, but things have stalled mostly due to my own resistance to doing things, toward acting.
To idle is to find an illusion of safety. To be static is to find a subtle consistency that change, that action, foils. To act opens us up to the possibility of failure, humiliation, ridicule. To act seems so difficult, and the way I’ve found to make sure that I do so is to make it clear to others that I’m going to act or to involve others in the acting.
This past Wednesday was the first meeting of the Southeastern Massachusetts Pagan Night Out. We met at a local bar and grill, the eight of us, and had good food, good drinks, and good conversation. We left looking forward to the following month’s get-together. I was nervous about setting the whole thing up, but various online social networks reduced the difficulty of action and made it more easy. And, but creating a situation in which others relied on me to be a part of the action, I felt duty bound, for lack of a better term, to act.
And that’s part of why I mentioned the FRD above. I’ve been talking to a lot of people about the process and my goals for it. Perhaps motivating myself through a sense of obligation and the possibility of guilt if I don’t meet those obligations is not the best way to get myself going, but sometimes if I do go with what works, I worry that my art of doing things will be truly lost.