I rushed to get the link up and neglected to put up my own thoughts. I feel there is nothing wrong in using anger as a motivator so long as you understand the risks and price of doing so. I have some friends who are athletic, and use anger to push themselves. I have many friends who are activists who use anger every day. So long as I am sure that they understand what that can cost them, I wish them the best of luck. Just be aware that you must not let that anger consume you. Then it becomes much darker and more dangerous.
I realize that Cracked is a sometimes silly source but it is also a popular one.
#1 is the most important one.
I was shown this last night in a different context. It was aimed at parents encouraging children but I think it can work well for a certain interpretation of heathenry. The idea that we still have to finish our own races but that deity can stand to help and guide is a useful way of looking at things. It does not absolve us in any way from our own responsibilities or need to strive. We will fail, but we learn from that and keep going.
So, I have had over a week to ponder what came from my two runs based on this commitment:
I am just going to write what has come to me so far and write other posts if they occur to me. In no order, really:
1) Relay as Metaphor – I ended up using an old Manfred Mann song as a pacing song during a lot of this. I mentioned it here: https://facingthefireswithin.wordpress.com/2014/08/05/possible-song-for-hermod-the-runner/
It was originally written for the Olympics and partially for the torch runners. It occurred to me, mostly on the second run, that there IS a relay component to Hermod. Frigga passes a task to him, he rides, negotiates and retrieves a bargain which is then passed back to Frigga. Thinking of working with Hermod as one part of a larger relay can work well.
2) Speaker for the Dead
Tying to point one, often working with Hermod may mean carrying the memory of a dead person with you for a time. I carried two as part of what I did, a friend and a relative at different points.
Speaking proudly for our ancestors and friends is part of heathenry. It is worth remembering that, when working with Hermod, you may find yourself doing more of that. Sometimes, when someone is grieving, you may say: “Tell me of your friend” and carry that forward. It is important and practical.
3) Running, Pausing and Endurance
I also struggled with the idea of not being able to run all 9 miles flat out and wrote about that as well:
Our ancestors rode horses, ships and many other things. Like soldiers, they took rest where they found it. Hermod rides Sleipnir for nine days and nights but likely let Sleipnir do the work at points. And, he did rest in Hel before returning. Endurance is important and respectable and comes in many forms. Make sure you have it but also shepherd your resources and do not hurt yourself so that you fail in your greater mission.
Believe me, I hit a dehydration wall on mile 7 of the day run. I had a plan that I would run 9 light poles and walk 3 and that is what I did. I still finished. It is finishing that is more important than raw time.
4) Lost Causes
A non Heathen friend once asked me if Hermod was the Norse “patron saint of lost causes”. There is that aspect, as his mission ultimately fails. However, HE does everything he can and succeeds at his part. The mission failed for other reasons after his work. He is a reminder that we can do the best we can and things beyond our control can still cause larger failures. Be proud of your success on your mission and realistic about the larger one.
Pertaining to Ray Rice
You are a fool if you think women are weak. Also, if you see those you love as weak and pathetic what does that say about you?
A friend asked me about Ray Rice and the elevator last night. I therefore had to watch the video several times. In tight confines, a left hook from me might have done the same thing and that was rather terrifying. This friend asked me what I would have done and what else he could have done. I was raised that a man does not lift a hand to a woman, so my views may be different than some (they should NOT BE!) but I said:
1) Hug her and hold her still
2) Take the blow, assuming she was actually going to strike him at all. I am enough of a man/adult to take a slap or punch for someone I love. Keep talking and tell her I love her.
3) Use a joint hold on her hand until she relents.
4) Block the strike and keep talking.
In other cases, I would walk away and wait. Knocking someone I love unconscious would show my absolute failure as a man, heathen and human being. Just being a tough guy is a rather pathetic measure of anyone. We have to be far more than that. I saw nothing in what that woman was doing that could have been construed as a great threat. Are we that weak?