Be Careful What You Wish
A man made a daily trip to the restroom in his office, for the obvious reason. Each visit, he noticed a spider in the toilet, scrabbling up the side, barely missing being drowned each time the toilet was flushed.
The man felt sorry for the spider, day after day struggling against all odds to stay alive. Each day, he watched the spider's struggle and, each day, increasingly felt that he had to step in and do something. Something to help the spider.
Finally, one day during his visit, the man took a paper towel and carefully scooped the spider out of the toilet and placed him on the floor of the stall. He washed his hands and left the restroom, feeling good about himself.
The next day, he entered the stall and noticed the spider on the floor, dead.
Somehow, even with the best intention, the man had disturbed the natural balance of the spider's world. He imposed his human will on the spider's existence and the spider paid for it.
I'm interested in the idea that there is a moral ecology to our existences. And that even when we believe we are doing the right thing, sometimes by doing anything, we upset that ecology. When our actions aren't moral, the disturbance can be worse, the ripples we create in the pool of our and others lives are deeper and wider, the destruction more evident.
I believe in magic. And I think magic can be a form of superimposed will that inevitably doubles back on the one who attempts to wield it.
When I was in my early twenties, I was madly in love with a man who wasn't madly in love with me. I was willing to do anything -- sell my soul? -- to attract this guy back to me. In the miserable throes of unrequited love, I sought out a friend of a friend who insisted he could cast a spell that would make this happen.
I went to a small apartment in a bad part of town and sat through candlelit anointing and incantation, all the while not really believing anything would come of it.
I was wrong.
Within three weeks I was experiencing the absolute worst luck of my life. Name a part of my life and it was screwed: my apartment was damaged, I got into trouble at work, an important friendship fell apart, my car suddenly needed serious repair, I fell into one of the deepest funks of my life.
Oh, and the guy came back to me. In fact, repeatedly. I couldn't shake him, even when I finally realized he wasn't good for me and knew it was past time to end it.
I had taken steps to impose my will on the universe. But at what cost? The after-effects of problems that occurred during that three weeks lasted much longer than I ended up wanting that relationship to last. And I think this all resulted from my disturbance of my own moral ecology.
"Be careful what you wish." And be careful what you do to get what you think you want. The spider, his Good Samaritan and I learned our lessons.
Today's fragrance: L'Invisible from Strange Invisible Perfumes. And I'll tell you why tomorrow.