Safe

Today I noticed that someone had tagged my front fence with bright red paint. It was like fresh blood, blindingly contrasting with the white of my PVC. I had that familiar sick feeling in my stomach as I wondered how long it had been there. No more than two days, surely. But while easily visible from the street, it’s not easy to see from the house.

I scrubbed off the paint using special graffiti remover, all the time thinking furiously about how much I’ve put into my house and wondering why the hell so many idiots keep vandalizing it. Someone breaks or tags the fence about every other month or so. It’s not the same people—just drunk idiots.

I always think of the warding and blessing Don and I did of the house in February after I moved in. It was so cold! We had to keep going back into the house to thaw before we could finish outside. But we were determined to walk the perimeter and declare the boundaries to the Elements, creating a safety barrier.

I think of how my nightmares have changed. Growing up, it was usually nuclear war or monsters. Later it was men, bad men, who were inexorably gaining ground on me no matter what I did. Then it became small gangs of people who were trying to break down the door of my apartment. Now it’s throngs of people who tear up all my beautiful trees and rape the good green earth around my house. 

Every morning I wake up and am loathe to look outside. I do a visual sweep of the fence to see what damage has been done. Most mornings there’s none. But every morning I visualize it.

Oberon Ravenheart is putting together a compendium of “Wizards of the World” through the ages. As a previously prominent Witch, he invited me to submit a bio. I sent it in yesterday. It was pathetically brief, and focused on activities from the ’90s. 

I have been told I’m a powerful Witch. I know that I go places many people are too reserved or too afraid to tread. Perhaps they find that powerful. I just follow the thread down to wherever it starts.

With all that “power,” you’d think some kick-ass warding spells would work. You’d think there’d be some way to keep me safe, to protect my land, and to banish these dismal dreams. 

I’ve been promising myself that I’ll do another warding now that the fence and gate are completed. But logically I know that I will continue to have people cross my boundaries. I have fantasies of violence against them, but I know that violence only begets more violence. They see my fence as a threat for some reason, as if I’m spitting in their eyes simply by existing.

What I need to come to terms with is the nature of magic and its limits. Oberon has the best definition of magic that I’ve heard: “probability enhancement.” I can enhance the probability of safety but I cannot be 100% safe. There are too many threads in the tapestry of life for that. Too many people able to make too many choices. 

It’s like in New York in’04 when I was between the police and the protesters, directing the energy of both sides down into the Earth. The longer it went on, the more difficult it became, partly because there were so many people choosing to get increasingly agitated. I Called on every ancestor I could think of to lend me strength, but in the end I was losing my hold when a new protest was announced in another area of the city and everyone dispersed. I could not have held all those threads indefinitely; I was already slipping.

Feeling safe is one of my deepest cravings. Of course my life is the exact opposite of that. Perhaps I have so many hard edges because I’ve knocked up against brick walls too many times. I wish I had the magic to create true safety for myself. Instead I need to live in this world, in this time, and learn to create a larger safe haven within my self. Let them break the fence—just don’t let them break me.

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