Some time ago I promised my wife I would stop meditating in the car. I was sorry to do it, because some of my very best meditations happened then, but I understood her concern. I’m willing to concede that perhaps deep meditation is not really safe at 70 miles per hour…
But on Tuesday I broke my promise. It wasn’t my fault, though — I swear! I was driving along, minding my own business, and a spirit quite firmly forced himself into my full meditative attention. Here’s how it happened.
Blindr, the Blind One
I was heading west away from Boston on I-90, just a few miles past the junction with 128, when I noticed that in the rear view mirror there was a car with one headlight broken.
Now, I thought this was odd, because earlier that day a friend of mine at work had told a funny story in which he and his wife were out driving and saw a car exactly like his wife’s car, down to the make, model, color, gaudy mirror decoration, and broken headlight. The only way they knew their car hadn’t been stolen was that the license plate didn’t match. What an odd coincidence!
Of course, many people say that there are no coincidences. Was it possible, I wondered, that this car behind me connected to the story I heard earlier? Was some spirit or other trying to get my attention? But what kind of spirit would try to get my attention with broken headlights?
Wait — Odin has one eye…
The Attacking Rider
Then I had a great rushing feeling, of speed above and beyond the velocity of the car, and a very powerful tingling sensation shot from the top of my head down my spine and back up again, and it felt like my hair was standing on end. Then I was right in meditation mode, and there was Odin, smiling cryptically…
Now generally the only gods that I’d contacted were ones that I had specifically called out to (Apollo and Cernunnos); so Odin’s sudden arrival was very unexpected. But Odin said that in fact he’d been in contact sort of surreptitiously for some time, but he hadn’t shown himself openly because I had been subconsciously pushing him away. He said that the two of us were a natural match. I bristled at that — I am not a warrior at all, and I don’t subscribe to the ethos surrounding honorable combat. I’m close to the ethics of Tolstoy and Gandhi — no violence, not even in self-defense.
“All right, set aside war,” he said. “I’m not just a god of war, you know; I’m also the god of inspiration.” And with that he sent me a wave of what I can only describe as a light delirium, a high roaring giddiness, intoxication, chaotic but filled with the pregnant energies of creation. I knew that feeling, I’d felt it before, sometimes, when I was writing.
Ok, I thought. Fair enough.
“And then there’s divination,” said Odin. “You and I are seers.”
“Well, I wouldn’t say I’ve got any talent for it,” I muttered.
“Then why are you writing a series of articles on the Tolkien Tarot spread?”
“Oh! Well, you know, that’s just, uh…”
“And then there’s the runes. I discovered them, I gave writing to humanity. And you are a linguist. That must count for something between us.” Now he was laughing at me.
“Ok, fine, sure…”
Then he sent me a flash of fire-thought from his blood brother, Loki. When he did that, I recognized it as well — it was a virtual a mirror of some of my ‘darker’ thoughts. (If you want to know what that was like, get in your car, put in Led Zeppelin, turn the volume to 11, and drive 100 mph. Be sure to laugh maniacally at appropriate times.)
“Now,” Odin said finally, “about this warrior thing. I understand your problem with physical violence. But remember that not all battles are physical.”
True enough. So in the end I had to agree that there was indeed some affinity between us; I lost that argument. Which I guess was a pretty much foregone conclusion, considering who I was arguing with.
Odin said a few other things before he went on his way; most notably he encouraged me to return to my fiction projects, and to put them up on this web site where they might find an audience. I haven’t done that before because I didn’t think they fit with the theme of the site, but now I’ve added them on their own page. I hope they’ll be unobtrusive, and not detract from the overall site experience. I’d love some feedback on that, if you feel so moved.
After he was ‘gone’, I wondered why Odin had chosen that day to arrive. I supposed I must have been open to him in some way that I hadn’t been before. Then I remembered that about a week previously, I’d had my first session of craniosacral therapy with John Rollinson (who, by the way, was excellent — I can’t recommend him highly enough). During this session, he led me in a meditation in which I was able to deal with a major blocking issue regarding my father… And of course Odin is the ultimate Norse father figure.
All things considered, it was an exciting commute.