One tattoo down. I'm not sure what to think of this one. It's beautiful, now that it's had a day to heal up. With ointments, the healing went a bit better. There's a certain distinct kind of fuzziness to the tattoo though. The Mantis is done now. In some way, it seems older, almost indistinct, and I can only assume that was intentional by the Elves. That indistinctness somehow matches the image of a Mantis. In Lore it is sometimes associated with the Prophet, and what better way to evoke that in it's indistinctness? In all truth, I like it because it fits. Technically Hoggoth is usually associated with an Ant, but in most of the texts they say Insects without specification. I believe it fits.
One down. A permanent pledge in ink of my service to one of the Vishanti. The work on my stomach is painful, but still only a third done, and the work on my other leg has only just started. Three images permanently bound into my skin, each a physical sign of my sealing my dedication to the Vishanti. Hoary Hoggoth, Agamotto the All Seeing, Oshtur the Omnipotent. As I settle in, and spend more time in my head, it's becoming increasingly harder to try and fit into the normal world anymore.
If not for my need to help people, I think I would have dropped out of ESU already. With the focus I'm giving to my life, will I be able to ever dedicate the time necessary to the professsion (or even becoming) a social worker? Can I, in actuality, follow that path and still follow dedicating my life wholy to the Vishanti? Yet, at the same time, isn't that very path the same basis behind the very reason I revere the Vishanti and follow them? They are a force of Order, of Balance. The very self same idea behind being a social worker. The two seem compatible, however I just do not know if the two aspects of my lives can balance that way, be balanced that way.
Part of me very strongly desires that I follow that role within the Mystical community. I've had to fight the temptation to head to Europe and help the rebuilding Societies, to help and guide them. Yet if I have learned anything, it is the easy answers and short routes are not the right way. To gain their respect or sway over them in the manner that has befallen would be no better then being the one who enslaved them. I don't like thinking this way, am still uncomfortable with it, but if they cannot rebuild themselves, cannot find leadership within themselves, is not anything else a quick fix, or a cheat? I think it would be. It's why I haven't gone there.
I can't even find my own society. The Cult seems to have vanished with Grandpa. Or disolved. Which I find doubtful. Hiding, most likely, or under orders to evade my seeking their aid to help the European Soceities. If this is the case, it points back to my unhappy thought being the correct one. They need to do it themselves.
Just like I do. I have been a poor follower, a poor student, daughter, grand-daughter, and friend. I've lost touch with my family by their design. I have no idea where Godfather is. I made a pact with a Devil, and was mercifully freed from it by a catastrophe that could have doomed the world. Yet it saved me from making a hard decision. I still don't know which decision I would have made, Caretaker. Would I have doomed the world, unleashed Mephistopheles, so that I could serve my Gods? I say I don't know which decision I would have made, but I do. I would not have made the Heroes Sacrifice you mentioned, I would have trusted in others, in myself, in the Vishanti, to see a stop put to Mephistopheles if I had been given the chance to make that choice.
I failed Maggie, as a friend. In giving up to her arguements, I made a mistake that could have cost us our lives. Nico I failed by rushing head long into things. If Maggie had not been there to provide the extra strength, I would have died. Almost did die. Bobbi is the only one I have done right by, in believing she would have the strength to over-come her own inner demons. Odd, given she is the least magically inclined of us all. And out of almost killing myself to cleanse Nico's Staff, what do I do? I recklessly learn to absorb magical energies through Chi. Well, more, I did it. I could do it again, I am certain, but the risk.
So I am left, mulling over all of these failures, these mistakes, actions. None are changeable, but every one gives me a lesson. How does one redeem ones self? In their own eyes, in the eyes of their friends, in the eyes of their Gods? Well, perhaps not in the eyes of my friends. They see me better then I am, for some reason, or maybe just believe in the person I could be. I don't know.
What I do know, is there isn't going to be any over night transformation. There won't even be a leaf falling from the tree glowing to indicate I've made a right step, or even to indicate I've made it to the end of the path and done right. It might take me the rest of my life, but I will reach the end of that path, to at least be redeemed in my own eyes. For the others, for my Gods, I can only hope I end there in their eyes in time, but I'm the only one who can judge my progress on a daily basis, and am likely the only one to really care about my progress on this path.
Somewhere down the path, lay my Family. Andy, Grandpa, Godfather. There's another thing that lay down it. Gods. Religion in all of it's forms are about peace. Perhaps I will never serve the Vishanti in the ways I hope to, maybe I'll never be more then a religious witch. That idea doesn't bother me. If that's all I am or will be, that's more then enough. I've already done quite a bit as 'just a witch', after all. I don't know too many middling degree witches who have the kind of rap sheet I already have under my belt. But peace does lay down this path, between the struggles, and the inevitable pain.
For the longest time, I was afraid I'd never see the end. With Blackheart, With Mephistopheles, with Zarathos, with Mordo. Each time, I was ready to martyr myself, or take others pain onto myself, to protect them. Even if that happens now or in the future, I know it will be worth it. What is the point of survival, if there is no service done in life? What higher service is there, then to perserve order against disorder, to maintain the tapestry of lives that could still remove disorder? Who knows, maybe in the end, that might be all that I have in common with Zhered-Na, martyrdom. Although I have to admit, I'd kind of prefer to not have to do that. I'm not stupid.
But I'm not afraid anymore. Of that fate, of the trials, of any of it. I'll see my family again. In this world, or in the next with Caretaker watching over us. That's what it is to be a Kale.
It's about the only certainty I have, beyond taking each day one step at a time. Rest well, Noble Kale, Barbara Ketch, Auntie Naomi, and Magdalena Kale. I would bring flowers for you all, if Caretaker wouldn't give me the gruff answer that all of you should be left to rest in peace. Especially you, Magdalena. For whatever reason, I bear you sympathy, and carry your looks in my own. Damned by your own hand or not, you are in my prayers with the others.
Current Music: Pat Monahan - Her Eyes