Thanks for being honest, Dad.

Nine-for-a-kiss wanted to test out  a Hannibal spread, and I thought I’d go ahead and volunteer as a guinea pig. The following is the copy+pasted response that was waiting in my inbox today, and I’m still working out how to give feedback. (Wow, would you look at all this accuracy?)

1. What have you grown dependent on? – Fear. I’ve been considering this, since it seems to be such a bald and uncompromising answer. I’m an etymology nerd, and ‘fear’ comes from a Proto-Germanic word that means ‘danger’ – but before that, it passed through the proto-Indo-European suffix per-, meaning ‘to try, to risk’, which in turn comes from a verbal stem meaning ‘to lead’, or ‘to pass over’. What does all this mean? Yes, good question. Have you been taking substantial risks? Have you found yourself craving adrenaline, action, peril? Even little things like staying up too late, loving the way your hands shake over your cup of coffee in the morning.

2. What do you need to let go of? – Your desire or quest for a guide. Be your own star in all this lightlessness.

3. What emerges from the dark? – A kind of worship, or holiness, particular to you. Ceremonies and rituals that have meaning; the ability to be your own kind of worshiper.

4. What lies have you been telling yourself? – That you are only a worthwhile person if you’re in the process of creating something. That your production is synonymous with your success. It’s a capitalistic view, that a person is only valuable when they are producing, and if you have thoughts or vague dread in this area, it might be worth exploring.

5. What darker impulses do you try to hide? – A tendency towards callous reactions.

6. What strength do you find in the dark? – You’re not mired in anything. You’re not stuck anywhere. You’re able to move, stretch, feel the blood flowing in your limbs, and you can pick the plot of sunny earth in which to plant your roots, and know that nothing has to be permanent.

7. What weakness? – You’re afraid of not-having. Of being poor, but maybe not even so literally – of being lacking.

8. What is your darkest desire? – to consume yourself, or to be consumed. To be part of something so much larger than you that it can’t help but subsume you. I think this ties back to the answer to number two, your desire for a guide – you want to go outside yourself, somehow.

9. What lessons can be learned from the dark? – All the mysteries. Magic, secrets, the will of the gods. All of it is here in the shadows, waiting for you.

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