Some Verses from 2013 on Motivation

I’ve been looking through some old poetry in my files in preparation for consolidating things that are publishable, and I found this. It’s from September 8, 2013, when I was going through a rough period in my life as far as motivation and religious activity were concerned.

Context

What I wrote deals with human willpower and motivation. Here are some things that helped me out of the funk described herein:

  • I created a mind map of my morning routine to work out when I could do routine worship and how long it should take. This involved moving backward from the time I needed to leave home (8:30 AM) to when I needed to wake up.
  • On the weekends, I don’t have the same routine, so I now make sure that I associate prayer with showering.

Things got better slowly as I formed new habits that helped me. Two other things were leaving Facebook and limiting my time on Twitter and social media. It’s easier to have a devotional practice when one isn’t getting sucked into notifications, and since managing my social media time more effectively, I have had more time to read philosophy, mythology, poetry, and speculative fiction — four things I really love. Modern online agorae can be miasmic, I have anxiety, and I need to set limits for myself.

The verses are helpful to read in conjunction with this post that breaks down routine household worship.

Why have I stopped?

Silence. I see you there now.
Ask me again: Why do I not
light incense and throw barley
every morning and night when
it is in my interest and an honor
to the Gods to worship them?
This is not the world you left
behind, when the law tightened
around worshippers’ throats.
No one in my country buries
icons of their gods in the ground
to hide them from zealots.
No law in my country keeps
shrines dead of fragrant myrrh.
It is interesting that when we
have everything open to us,
we often lapse in our adherence
to the age-old customs and rules.
This is no excuse: I see you there,
pointing the way to the shrine.
I only mean to show you how far
history has moved forward since
your secretive initiations at night.

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