Connections. Inter-related points that seem to draw a conclusion that one might not be normally aware of. Relationship.
As I continue in my Bardic studies with the OBOD Gwers, and in reading several different Pagan authors, I am becoming increasingly aware of those strands of information and observation that make up a nearly invisible web with all of us.
For instance, I am currently compiling a list of major-league and minor-league baseball players who have been within the Cincinnati Reds’ major-league and minor-league teams. The database I am working on will eventually be fleshed out a bit deeper with hitting, pitching and fielding statistics for each level — but that’s on the far, far horizon. And yes, I am a database nerd. I have databases for a lot of other things as well. But there’s something I started to notice, as I have compiled the last ten years of Reds’ history. The staggering number of players that have come through those teams (nearly 900 total players).
That’s a literally sea of players that didn’t really make much of an impact on the team. There’s a forty-man roster that the Reds keep each year, and maybe a handful of players who have been on that roster on a continually basis over that ten years. That’s a lot of players who have only a short time with the team – for whatever reason. No, don’t get bored and think I am just talking baseball here. Hold tight.
That’s a lot of players that get left in the wake of the team’s yearly journey. Some move on to other organizations, others drop out of baseball completely. But these make up the flotsam and jetsam of the seasons, and are a part of the team’s story that rarely gets discussed. But this can be applied elsewhere too. Take, as an example, my own life.
Here at fifty, I have a handful of people that I call “friend”. Some, I only see from time to time, when our orbits can mesh – such as East Coast Gathering, Gulf Coast Gathering, Pagan pride Days, etc etc. However, my social circle of friends is very, very small. But looking back through the years, there are so many people that have passed through my life, and no longer are within those spheres of interaction. In a manner of speaking, they have become the flotsam and jetsam within my life. Many, have played an integral part of the shaping of who I am today.
And what about other aspects of Life? The coworkers I have had over the years play parts within the shaping of me as well. My coworkers at the Real Estate Services company I worked with — the folks at jobs.com who all managed to survive the dissolution of the company during the dot-com bubble’s burst — those folks who I worked with when I was the only member of my department that wasn’t in Austin — all the late hours I put in with people who were afraid of me because of my religious beliefs, and those that accepted me for who I was without question. Many of those people, I have not talked to in a decade of time (or more in some cases). My friends when I was in high school, many of whom have changed as much as I have — to the point, that we all find very little in common anymore. Some, I continue to maintain a friendship with – albeit under a very different paradigm — and others who have turned their back on me simply because I did not openly support their idea of “correct” politics. Those connections are still there – still active, still alive — even if the strength of that connection may be greatly diminished from what it was.
And to be quite frank, this is the easier aspect of connectivity to consider. Dig a little deeper, and you find other aspects that become connected. Your interactions with complete strangers in public, what you purchase (who from, etc etc), the manner in which a company does its behind-the-scenes business, and many, many other things. The connectivity is there, its just a matter of finding the strand, and following it to its source.
There’s also the manner in which we cultivate, strengthen, and maintain the connections we have. As a singular instance, I maintain a relationship/connectivity with Crow and Coyote through meditations, little rituals I observe at regular intervals, and allowing Them to both guide my hand at being curious. I know quite a few other people that maintain their connections with Gods, Goddesses, Spirits of Place, and Ancestors through a wide variety of other means. They cultivate, grow, and maintain their connections in the manner that assists them best.
Yes, a lot of understanding some of this comes from such mundane things as compiling a database that is for your own amusement. And while that revelation can be quite surprising at the moment – I have come to find that parsing something that may seem unrelated to issues on a Spiritual level shows how every action one takes in a day can be considered as “scared” when there is purpose providing the background. Even something mundane, and as silly as wanting to know who was a part of your favorite professional baseball team.