as fire swept clean the earth

I went through a bit of a tough time a little over a year ago. Nasty breakup, unfortunate living situation, crushing anxiety and depression from my teenage years returning (and let me tell you, they were open for business). I listened to a lot of Viking metal and read the Eddas quite a bit while nursing my wounds from inside a bottle of whiskey. (FYI, I do not recommend cartoonishly heavy drinking as a solution to life problems. You just get grumpier.)

There are superficial reasons why I like Viking lore – it’s gory and epic, full of ravenous wolves and bloodied axes and doomed yet noble gods. But I think maybe at that time in my life what I related to was the fatalism. At that time, I interpreted it as: the world is destined to perish and burn, but that doesn’t mean you can’t attempt to live a good and courageous life, and fight to the end hoping for something better.

I’m not as grumpy as I was back in those days, but I still find myself rereading Voluspa and Havamal over and over. Part of that is just liking them as literature, but it still goes a little deeper than that, I think. I believe I read them in order to tell myself “come on, stiffen that spine. Be brave and honest. Don’t waste your life wallowing in sadness; swing your fucking battle-axe.”

Does this make me a cheezmo? Probably. And just to prove that point, here’s a Bathory song:

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~ by Smellen on December 8, 2009.

One Response to “as fire swept clean the earth”

  1. I had such a return of forgotten teenage anxieties about a month ago. It was overwhelming, though such a hitting bottom that coming through it was miraculous. The Kundalini yoga I was sloppily practicing at the time didn’t help. (“DIDN’T YOU LEARN ANYTHING FROM CHAOS MAGIC?! DON’T BE SLOPPY WITH THINGS THAT CAN DRIVE YOU INSANE!)

    Anyhoo. Being a cheezmo is survival-skill number one, from where I sit, especially if it genuinely makes you stand up straighter and do things.

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