The first time I performed a Wiccan ritual I addressed the God and Goddess and was hit by the powerful thought, “Who the fuck am I talking to?”
And that began the long process toward calling myself an atheist, although that journey passed through an intense decade of Pagan practice, with a side dish of awkward as I attempted to shoehorn my atheism into the practices of other people’s polytheism.
Here it is a full two decades after that first WTF moment, and I’m trying to get back to talking to things that aren’t there.
I feel alone, and the world feels dead, and I’m no longer as interested in what is capital-T True as I am in satisfying, meaningful, transformative results in my own life and for the world around me.
I will fucking talk to ANYTHING if it will make me feel connected to the world.
Seven days ago I quit Facebook, and it’s been rough, let me tell you. I have been fully plugged in to social media for long enough that it feels like an instinct to post what I’m thinking. When I have a thought I want to post I’ve started sending it one-on-one to a friend instead. I want to create conversations instead of broadcasts.
I created a beautiful salad the other day. All the pieces colorful and arranged in a pattern before mixing them all up. I wanted to take a picture and post it. To who? I couldn’t think of a friend I wanted to tell or a conversation I wanted to start about my salad.
When I post on Facebook who the fuck am I talking to?
It’s no one, isn’t it? It’s no more anyone than the deities I once addressed in ritual.
And while some people may type in some response to my photo of my beautiful salad, that response isn’t really meaningful is it? It doesn’t build anything between us. It doesn’t move our souls. We don’t even remember it 30 minutes later.
I will talk to anything if it will make me feel connected to the world.
Which is why I’ve spent so long talking to the imaginary people in my Facebook feed. People I rarely see in person. People I have little in common with. People I don’t have anything real to talk about with.
Is it any less valuable to talk to the trees and the sky and the dirt?
Is it any less “true” or “real” if I believe they say something back?
Does it matter?
If I somehow end up feeling connected to the world and treating the life around me (including mine) in a way that is nurturing, nourishing, and joyful then it absolutely does not matter who the fuck I’m talking to.