Well, it’s still snowing here in Anacortes, and it’s snowing much worse in some communities not far from here to the extent that they’ve already cancelled school for tomorrow.
In general, since returning from PantheaCon on Monday evening, it’s been colder in Seattle and the surrounding areas than it was in San Jose, where PantheaCon takes place.
It’s not the physical “cold” that has been getting to me lately since coming back.
No matter how fraught and difficult some of the discussions at PantheaCon were, and the situations that lead to them…
No matter how separate or united I felt with other groups, with other traditions, and with members of my own varying traditions…
No matter what, PantheaCon is a place where there is an over-arching feeling of love and warmth, even when all those other things might be factors. There is, for lack of a better term, a “spiritual warmth” that surrounds the place for those few days, and myself and many others have found it difficult to leave that space on many occasions (and not just because everyone keeps running into us on our way out!).
To return to the land that I was born in and from, and the land which I currently call home, and the land that I love more than anywhere else on earth, and to find that such a warmth doesn’t exist as the default feeling of the place…that’s really sad and disappointing, especially when the actual weather is colder as well.
If anyone wonders “why I bother” with going to PantheaCon any longer, it’s for this reason, amongst a few others. I’ve weighed my thoughts on the matter over the last few weeks especially, and I’ve decided that I am planning (at least provisionally at this point) to go again next year and see what happens. In mid-February, that kind of spiritual warmth, that is so missing from my local community (because there is not much of a spiritual component to my local community, and I rarely see my Seattle-area co-religionists these days either), is really necessary to keep things going, I think, for a while longer until things start to warm up again in other ways.
I may write more about various aspects of PantheaCon, as promised in my last post, later on today, and definitely tomorrow, after I get a bit of grading done. Meanwhile, I hope all of you are warm, in every possible sense of the word, at present as you read this, and long after as well.