Why aren’t you doing classes, lectures, workshops and the such on Druidry, Paganism and Polytheism?
I think you would be a wonderful teacher. Why aren’t you doing stuff like that?
What about a book? Have you thought about writing a book?
Every so often, stuff like this pops back into my email inbox. People wondering why I’m not out in the public more often. Why am I not attending conferences. Why am I not giving workshops at these conferences or at gatherings. Why am I not on this podcast or that radio show. Or the even more quirky question: why am I not out in public spreading the good news about Paganism and Druidry? WTF is that about?
A lot of the answers to this boils down to a lot of things, the biggest of which is that I don’t have all the free time in the world. Nor do I have much money to travel and attend conferences. That’s what happens when you’re unemployed and living from potential low-paying contract to potential low-paying contract. Nor do I have the health to be on the road constantly, as the move here to Arkansas demonstrated so vividly for me, just a little over a week ago. But there’s a lot more to all of this….
I am a teacher. Well, to put it a different way, I am a collegiate instructor. I did that for a touch over three and a half years. I enjoyed every second that I was in the classroom. I got to talk with the students, find out their passions, their dreams, their desires – and then do my best to twist the curriculum to bring about how they could achieve all of that with an eye on technology. My teaching style was unorthodox (since when do I do anything the “normal” way?), conversational, and disliked by my team lead. But I kept doing it that way because I always had a single student that was inspired by what I was bringing forward…and that’s what I was wanting to do – inspire them.
But would I be a good teacher in a Pagan environment? There’s quite a bit of doubt where that’s concerned. At least doubt in my mind, and that’s where it all starts. My style of teaching is more akin to the idea of sitting around a fire and talking about stuff. Conversational, relaxed, letting the student explore for themselves (while occasionally nudging them towards a particular topic for exploration). From everything I’ve seen, its not a good formula for teaching people about Paganism. Besides that, I’m not a Pagan or a Druid evangelist. I’m no position to convert a single individual to any direction, philosophy, or belief. Doing stuff like that has a repugnant feel to it for me. I’m just not built that way. I’ll gladly help someone to understand what *might* work for them, but I am not the individual that is going to tell people what they should or should not believe.
So, why not conferences? Why not gatherings? Why not workshops? Why not be on this or that podcast? Well, to be openly honest…I’d prefer to be in the forest. Sitting in a conference room in a hotel, talking about Nature and being outdoors….just doesn’t get it for me. I really have very little desire to be in those settings on a constant basis. A Pagan Pride Day here, a monthly Meetup gathering there, a conference over there….taken in smaller doses, it can be an environment that I could find myself in. But only for a certain time. After that, I need the forests, the fields, the outdoors – so I can recharge and come back to what pulls me to Paganism and Druidry in the first place. Besides, I’m not trying to create a brand, I’m not marketing myself, I’m not selling anything – I’m just me.
I’ve thought about writing a book about my travels throughout Paganism. Detailing how I got here from over there. Showcasing where I tripped on some rock in the Path or stumbled over some exposed root that I didn’t notice. But really, what’s there to write about that hasn’t been written about by so many others? And who is really going to care that much about my own journey? I’ve made several aborted attempts at writing a book of some sort or fashion, only to set down that effort in favor of just being a Druid, living my life the best way that I can.
Some people are going to say – I’d love to know more about you and your journey, how do I go about doing that? Well, we can always meet at a local coffee shop somewhere near Little Rock, Arkansas. Or, if you see me at a gathering or a workshop – just corral me off to a side and tell me you want to talk. I’m more than happy to do so. Besides, I find that personal one-on-one to be far more conducive to being a better form of teaching than an informal classroom setting, even in an online format.
Yes, my style of Druidry is different than a lot of folks. I’m not trying to set myself out there as any kind of guru or what have you. I follow the same tenets and philosophical directions as any other Druid. But the important part of Druidry for me isn’t about the rituals or learning how to meditate or what have you. The important part of Druidry is no different than the important part of Christianity or any other spiritual belief. Its about being yourself. Its about learning who you are, not trying to do ritual like you have Ron Weasley’s wand shoved up your ass. Its about laughing, loving, experiencing…or in short, its just being. The only way you’re going to figure that out is to let your guard down, to remove the mask you wear for others…be vulnerable. Sure, there’s a chance that you get hurt, but existing in life means taking risks and accepting the potential for being hurt, or looking foolish, or what have you.
Yeah, that went off on a bit of tangent, but hopefully everyone can see how the trail led up to that vantage point. ::shrug:: Why do I do my Druidry the way that I do? Because its comfortable to me. Plus, it allows me to just be myself. In opening up, and being vulnerable, I am exposed to experiences I might have missed with my mask on. Do I need to market myself? Not really. I must be myself…first and foremost. How I live my Druidry is what matters most. If people want to know how they can do that too…pull up a spot at the fire. Let’s talk.