The idea of indigeny is one that, several years ago, I felt I had no right to. I have loved Native American myth, particularly of the medicine men and women, the various Gods and spirits, since I was a child. When I announced to my 1st grade teacher I wanted to be a shaman, her response crushed any idea that I could be an indigenous person for a long while until I reconsidered it a few years ago. Not only could I not be Native American, or indigenous anything, I couldn’t be a shaman either. Until Odin flipped the latter notion on its head, I did not come back to considering the topic of indigeny at all.
Monotheism has killed the idea of indigeny for a good many of us that we had an indigenous anything. This foreign religion swooped over many a Pagan land, and took with it their individual cultures, replacing them systematically with a maladaptive, singular religion. It wiped out many of our understandings of our Gods, pushed survivors to break their oaths to our Gods, and what little has mercifully survived in many corners of the world has been unable to come to us untainted by Christian scholars. Very few modern Pagan pathways have much more than a generation or two of practicing Pagans, so it is a small wonder that many of us, converting from Christianity, have a hard time approaching, much less adopting the idea of indigeny. Those of us who are not converts, at least in the United States, cannot escape the influence of white Protestant Christianity that has made a good amount of the backbone of this country’s history. Yet, if we are to actually pass on our Pagan ways, I think reclaiming our indigeny is the only way forward.
In many ways this involves killing the modern concept of the soul. In my own path the soul is not simply the ego-Me, but the community-Us, and a good many other parts to it that extend well and truly beyond myself. It is not a separation of body and soul, either; the two are linked. My lich (body) is as holy as my önd (breath, life force) and is as much a part of my soul as my maegen (personal power grown by keeping oaths, one’s word, etc.) and hamingja (similar to maegen, but grown with community) and just as holy. The traditional dichotomies and binaries simply do not wash. To reclaim one’s indigeny, I feel you have to first reclaim your soul. Coming to understand your soul as more than your flesh, more than your mind and yet they are part of your soul is sometimes a hard thing, especially with the idea of Descartes” Cogito ergo sum’ firmly ingrained into our minds from an early age “I think therefore I am.” The dichotomy between mind and body is inculcated early, and it takes some work to shake this off.
Part and parcel of killing the soul and reviving it in our indigenous ways is recognizing and engaging our own creation myths. When I meditate as a tree for grounding and centering nowadays, that is not only me imitating, perhaps on a spiritual level even mimicking or becoming a tree. As a Northern Tradition and Heathen Pagan, when I become a tree either in meditation or other things, I am heralding back to Ask and Embla, the two trees from which all humanity springs when Odin, Vili, and Ve gave us our features from two trees that wash up before them on a shore. I am, on a very primal, Ancestral level, directly related to the ground I stand on, the garden I grow my food from, the house I live in, and the world at large in which I live.
Think about that: we are directly related to the trees. We are directly related to the world on which we stand.
Our Ancestors were the trees, blessed by Gods. I am a Son of Odin.
These are revolutionary thoughts, and bear meditating on all their own. These may be posts I consider down the road. The point is, is that by reviving the soul in indigeny, the separation that monotheism places between Creation and Creator, the Created and Co-Creators, is in many respects gone. We are descended from the very land we live on, and many of our old bloodlines (Englanders anyone?) claimed descent from Gods. Our Gods, landvaettir, Ancestors, all of us, are part of this and other worlds.
Another part of killing the modern conception of the soul is destroying the separation of mind and body. We cannot. Our bodies are made to be integrated with our minds, and vice versa. Our minds regularly react to stimuli, real or imagined, that the body provides it, from shivers in the cold to dancing around hopping and cursing when we stub a toe. Our body is a great big sensory organ; it provides us an immense amount of information, from pressure to temperature, closeness to color and so much more. If our bodies are not nourished, our minds wither. The same goes for the mind. We truly do need affection and stimulation to survive well as much as we need good, healthy, reliable amounts of food. Food is sacred, love is sacred, raising children (as well as remaining child-free) is sacred. Expanded one’s horizons is sacred, as is meditating, as is doing arithmetic, science, or any number of intellectual pursuits. This world, and we, are brimming with holiness if we would but see it, let it in, allow it to suffuse us. If we enter into right relationship with ourselves, we will be able to enter into right relationship with this world.
We can revive our indigenous ways. When we honor our Ancestors, the Dead, the landvaettir, other spirits and the Gods, in so many ways we are, step-by-step, rebuilding our indigeny. By interfacing with our Ancestors, Dead, spirits, and Gods, and learning from Them, we can learn ways in which our indigeny can thrive now. We can reclaim, revitalize, and revive the indigeny that each of us has the ability to lay hold of, claim, and hold close. Thank the Gods.
This week I was working on F is for Faith, but I could not make it stick at the moment. So, with a bit of inspiration, here is a devotional poem to Freya.
I hear Your Whisper
In the moments between time
Where my heart has beaten and presses
The blood running hot
I hear You in the darkness
In my thoughts
Your words caress my mind
When I put my fingers to keys
I feel your hand
Your whisper in my heart
“Write without shame”
So I will write
Of your glory
Your luscious curves
Your eyes that stab the heart
Your iron will set in soft flesh
Your firm hands that hold lover or spear with grace
Your heart that gives solace and joy
Your soul that enflames the tinder of so many dried hearts
How could I praise you higher
Than by saying I have come to love myself
Through Your hands, Your fire, Your love?
That by your patience and demands
I have seen the face of love? Looked upon its glorious face?
That I know the difference between love and lust
That both have their holy place in my life
That I have discernment to tell one from other?
That you have kindled true love in my Being
That I might give it to another
That I may give it wholly
Expecting nothing, but truly open
To its warm return?
Fuel keeps our lives moving. We use it to get from place to place, heat our homes, and get our food. At least in most of North America, much of our food is grown using fossil fuels, from fertilizer and fungicides, herbicides and insecticides, to the harvesters that allow agribusiness to thrive. Many of our homes are heated by coal or natural gas. Many of us commute to our jobs, from a few miles to several hundred, by car, train, or bus, using some form of fossil fuel. It is safe to say that most of Western civilization depends on the cheap, abundant fossil fuels that power our lives.
The hardship that will be imposed if we do not adapt to its lessening availability cannot be overstated. Many jobs would disappear or have to be drastically localized without cheap, abundant fuels. It would be a real hard question as to whether we can feed ourselves if they become scarce, as so many of us are not growing anything at all. Yet these questions are before us. Experts on oil estimate that Peak Oil, the point at which demand for oil eclipses the ability for the industry to provide for it, to already be here, or to be coming in the none-too-distant future. Documentaries such as The End of Suburbia and A Crude Awakening, to websites such as The Oil Drum, The Crash Course and The Coming Global Oil Crisis, make it clear that Peak Oil, as well as other related peaks, such as natural gas production, are coming. It is not so much a question of if, but of when. The question will be, regardless of whether we are simply delayed in feeling the effects of Peak Oil now, or will feel it in the near future if more conservative estimates are right, if we are able to survive. The questions following that will be related to how we survive. Grand Archdruid John Michael Greer has dug into a lot of different parts of Peak Oil and its impact in his blog, The Archdruid Report in far more deep and diverse ways than I. I am definitely a fan of his, both in his analysis of the situation, and especially how he lays out the challenges we face, the thinking behind these challenges and avenues for solutions. His analysis of the history of where we are and how we got here, and where we may be going makes for enlightening reading. This is equally so for his reader-base and comments section.
How can we, as Pagans, bridge the gap into this new world of shortening availability of fuels? What is the point of a Pagan blog commenting on our use of fuel and its decline? Is it all downhill to doom from here?
To the last question, no. Or, rather, it does not have to be, and I will get to that.
I am writing on fuel for the Pagan Blog Project because I see my religion as being tied in with Earth, with Midgard. This place, and all who dwell within Midgard are holy Beings. From the magma core of Earth to the outer reaches of Her atmosphere and beyond, this realm is holy. I see the Earth within my path as Jord, a Goddess-Jotun. Many know Her as the Jotun who gave birth to Thor. The Earth, then, is a Goddess, and to treat Her well is a holy act. I do not feel that we, especially in the United States, have treated Her well at all. From the fracking that poisons Her rivers and people, to the Gulf Spill of April 20, 2010, we can see clearly how our mistreatment of Her harms not only Her, but ourselves and fellow animals. In our quest for cheap fuel we are killing ourselves. This is true whether viewed from the oil-drenched waters, Peak Oil, or climate change. Our effects upon this world are proving disastrous for ourselves and people we may never lay eyes on. Whole island nations are being or are at threat of being swallowed by rising seas. The mistreatment of our Mother is pain that is coming home to us. So much of the pain we are causing Her, and thus, ourselves, is in this rush to get more fuel.
There is a separation that is common in many religions that I feel has no place in modern Paganism: the separation of the physical and the spiritual. The physical is spiritual. When I say this realm is holy, I mean that both in the immanent and transcendent meanings. In connecting this world with the idea of holiness, it is one of a great many revolutions of thought that Pagans can inspire to bridge the gap from the old ideas of separation and ease of exploitation of the Earth, into the new ideas of interconnection and living with Her. This is not some hopeless idealistic notion; such things are already being put into practice with permaculture and forms of organic gardening. We all are part of this world, and each individual contributing to treating the world better, by extension, all benefit. It is Gebo, gift-for-a-gift, coming to us in positive terms in an age of decline, rather than running screaming off the edge and taking our society, and all of its many accomplishments, with it. The idea of interconnection works whether you see this from the micro-scale, such as a family unit, or the macro, such as our nation.
By treating this world, and its resources as sacred, we can entrust greater care with what we have remaining, and engender better relationships within and without our local communities. This can ripple out, affecting the whole. No large-scale movement, from Civil Rights, LGBTQI Rights, Women’s Rights, etc. began large-scale. They were grown in little seeds, in soil that supported them and nurtured them, until their bloom, spreading their seeds further. Sometimes it took quite a while for the new generation of seeds to grow at all, but it did grow. We as a society, from local communities up to our federal government, can treat lessening dependence on fuel in the same way provided we stop dancing around the issue. The Transition movement is clear indication that we can do this. Declining fuel does not need to mean the death of our society, merely the idea that our society can expect exponential growth like we are accustomed to. It does indicate that, even if not all of us accept the idea that this world is inherently sacred, we do need to accept and respect the hard limits of nature to provide for our wants.
Pagans can also bridge the gap to this new world by respecting our Ancestors, and calling on Them in a myriad of ways. Going back to our roots, and, for example, learning how our Ancestors may have plied a trade, will have two great benefits: 1) It connects us to Them by learning about their life. 2) It can provide a practical way to provide for ourselves, engage a new hobby, or develop practical skills that may be necessary when fossil fuels are too pricey for us to afford. Even if you do not personally use a skill you learn about, it may help another to share that information. It is a source of comfort, to me, that my Ancestors would have faced life without fossil fuels. Even if They don’t give me all the keys (or any!) to understand how to survive in such a time, that They have been through a time at all and lived so that I would eventually be born is comforting. Our Ancestors made it, and so can we. Some of our still-living Ancestors may have valuable skills, life lessons, and so many things that They could teach us if we just listen. I realize this isn’t available for everyone for any number of reasons. That we can glean wisdom from the past and use it in our present is a powerful thing, especially in a time where many of our modern conveniences will, without fuel, become obsolete.
Pagans can also help bridge the gap between our people and our government. The Founders of the United States, for instance, were in no small part inspired by ancient Pagans and Native Americans in the formation of many of our government functions and structures. Like them, we can look to many ancient Pagan peoples for ideas of civic duty, such as those of ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, Germany and Ireland. We can debate the usefulness, the scope, and other aspects of these ancient ideas and their relevance to our society. What we can glean from each of these peoples is an idea of how to be a better citizen, or how to be a citizen at all. How to conduct ourselves within private and public life. Am I saying let us abolish the Constitution and set up a Althing instead? No, but Things of one kind or another may well be useful for local communities, especially as fossil fuel leaves us and we are forced to settle things more locally. Would adherence to the state, as emphasized in various generations of Roman rule be ideal for our Republic? Maybe, maybe not. What does Roman rule have to teach us? What can we gain from seeing how our (physical or spiritual) Ancestors may have done things? What have we forgotten how to do that we used to know so well? What can we bring into our lives that can make our local and national communities be more effective and resilient? Are there more effective methods of self-governance that we have given up for dead that may be more useful in a powered down future? What habits, rituals, modes of operation, ways of educating, etc. can we bring into our future generations that will enable better survival, community trust and cooperation?
Pagans can bring the sacred into everyday life. We have Gods, if not spirits, in most any Pagan religion, that are dedicated to some aspect of life and function of home, society, and the world around us. From Gods of the home to Gods of state, from Gods of fertilizer to Gods of fertility, and many other facets of life, our Gods can help us to understand the sacred inherent in our world, in ourselves, and in our everyday existence. We can, in turn, honor our Gods, spirits, and Ancestors by inviting Them into each bit of our lives. This mindfulness is dynamic, and by bringing the sacred into our everyday lives we can change our entire outlook on the worlds around us, and how we live our lives. Work that strikes as drudging becomes an offering, perhaps to the Gods, the spirits, or just to the community itself. Times of trouble can inspire us to come closer to our communities rather than distance ourselves or ‘handle it alone’ in a mindset where the community itself is a sacred extension of oneself and more of a welcoming family than a collection of people who happen to live near you. Death no longer becomes a fear-filled thing to desperately be avoided for fear of punishment in eternal hellfire. We may die in peace, perhaps being more a friend to Death rather than a scared victim of a cruel Being. To reengage the sacred in the smallest times of life gives ground to get through the hard times. There is no doubt in my mind that there will be hard times when the Age of Oil comes to an end. It is how we handle those hard times that may mean the difference between life and death.
I do not pretend to know if we Pagans hold every answer to climate change, Peak Oil, or the myriad other challenges we are facing. What I do know is that Paganism gives us hope in solving these problems, and in doing so, maintaining a good mindset about why we are doing this. It may even give us the drive needed to see these problems through to their resolution.
Seeing as how I’m not quite sure when I’ll get a zap of inspiration to write on this topic, I thought I would start now.
Eating is sacred. Something, whether plant or animal, is consumed by me so that I can continue to live. There are different debates we could have on whether this is a ‘sacrifice’ the animal or plant gives willingly. For now, I’m going to sidestep that. We consume life in some variety or another so that we live.
I, and many Pagans, do not separate the holy from the body. So, that, to me, follows that eating is a sacred act. You are taking in the body of something that once lived, whose spirit may still be in the food you are eating. Think about that: if I am eating a chicken, I am taking the outward representation of its Being into me. The same goes for broccoli or carrots.
This is not some abstract concept; something lived, was killed, and is becoming part of me, so that I may live. So how do I honor that life, whether it is a chicken, a cow, broccoli, or a carrot?
I would say the first thing is mindfulness. Understanding that you are eating another Being, where it comes from; how it got from a field, farm, or crate to your plate. Understanding how much suffering that animal or plant may have gone through to come from the farmer, rancher, or producer, and the journey the food made to get to you from those people. Understanding that your food may or may not be grown or made in an ethical, humane way for either the food or the producer. Many people suffer indignities and trials just to be able to grow many of the foods we eat, not to mention endure working conditions that many of us could or would not endure. As the recent post here exposes, people in logistics, getting the food from the farmer/rancher/producer to your table, can be treated quite poorly.
The next would be thankfulness. Acknowledging that, willingly or no, the sacrifice of their life allows you to live. That they may have undergone suffering and travel to arrive at your plate. To be thankful not just for their sacrifice, but for the hard work of all those, from the farmer, rancher, or producer, through the logistics that allow you to pick up that bag of chicken or carrots at your local market. To be thankful that others killed an animal or plant in your place. To be thankful that you have food at all. To be thankful that the Gods are in your life, that They, your Ancestors, spirit allies, and the spirits of these animals and/or plants would share in this meal with you.
Finally, it is showing appreciation. This, to me, differs from thankfulness in that thankfulness can be “Thank you” or a prayer, something that says we have gratitude. Showing appreciation, to me, is doing things to show that gratitude. It can be an offering to the spirits. I think that the offering can be more than an offered prayer or some mead poured out. While I find expressing appreciation like this holy and good, an offering can be something that is more concrete, affecting change on a lot of levels such as a change in attitude towards your food, a change in eating habits (i.e. eating locally sourced foods or humanely-killed animals), or even growing/raising your own food.
I first got turned onto this whole notion by Lupa. Sometimes I pray to the overarching spirit of whichever food animal I am eating, but I try to make a special point of thanking the specific animal whose body I am consuming. Now that I think about it, I should do the same for the other Beings that make up my plate. Mushrooms have sacrificed no less than pigs for being on my pizza; they’ve both given their lives. Will the pig suffer less for being on the pizza? No, but I can reduce inhumane treatment to hir brethren by being mindful of where I get my food, how much I eat, and so on. Just to be clear, I am not in any way, shape, or form starving myself nor would I expect this post to be taken as espousing that. There are other ways to being mindful and making choices about eating habits. Some may simply not be able to make the choices we would like because of our economic situation. So, make change where you can and don’t bury yourself in guilt. I’m not a purist; I don’t have this all down pat. I do what I can where I can, and honor the spirits whose bodies I consume as best I can.
I think, though, that by having a better relationship with our food, how we eat, we encourage better relationships over all. As a diabetic, I have to be especially careful of the foods I let into my life. My relationship with sugary foods, for instance, was bad for me, and if I indulge too much may ruin my kidneys or screw me up in other ways. So by having a healthier relationship with food, I have a healthier relationship with my body. This ripples out into my life at large. By letting in more fruits and especially vegetables into my food relationships, I gained a better body balance, and my sugars calmed the down.
Our relationships with eating can be very positive for our lives. We might have the one special recipe that reminds us of home, or loved ones. Eating a family recipe may be just one more link back to our Ancestors. Eating cakes and ale during a Wiccan ritual may be another way of connecting to the Goddess and God. Sharing a meal with the Gods may be the most intimate way we can thank Them for the blessings in our lives, or invite Them in deeper. For me, nothing quite brings the Ancestors and I together like sharing a meal. I don’t think there’s anything quite like eating a meal with good friends, especially when they’ve made it themselves.
Eating can bring us to a place of receptivity. Eating can bring us joy, comfort, even ecstasy. Eating can bring us blessings, contentment, and balance. Eating can be just one more way we can connect to ourselves, our Ancestors, our spirits, and our Gods.
So eat, drink, be merry, and be blessed.
About half an hour or so ago, power in our neighborhood died. We were plunged into darkness. We scrambled around for a little while, grabbing cellphones and flashlights. As I grabbed a white candle, I paused and thought about what life would be like without cheap energy. If life was like this all the time. How I relied so deeply on cheap, abundant energy for school, leisure, and work. What would I do if this all ended?
I do not have answers to that right yet. I will be going for an M.A. in Counseling come next year, if everything goes well. I am not sure how to make it work without electricity at the moment. Perhaps I will have space in an office powered by solar panels. Perhaps things will be okay for a few years in the future, enough for me to get established in a community, practice, or other space.
Many talents that I have lay in areas powered by electricity, such as my photography and graphic design. I am more efficient at typing than handwriting, and I tend to do touch-ups on my drawings digitally. I keep in contact with my friends and family through my cell phone and computer. I pray with my son, who does not live with me, over the phone. I keep in contact with my spiritual community through Facebook, IMs, and of course, WordPress. If electricity were to vanish I would lose a lot of really important connections.
I am grateful for electricity. I have access to countless sources of information because of it. I have access to resources such as permaculture and organic gardening due to electricity. I know so much about my Gods’ myths and legends because of electricity. You can read this because of electricity. I can see responses because of it. The things electricity allows me to do are really blessings, something I will try to remember each day, and not just when the lights go out.
I may go back and do a full post for B, but for now my poem for Bragi stands.
This week I am looking at crafting. So many cues from our culture came from crafting, from the fashioning of our tools, to the subtle make of jewelry, to the carving of God/Goddess poles. With the demise of many of these trades alongside our indigenous ways, it is no wonder we have had to reconstruct, as well as find new expressions to connect ourselves to our Gods, spirits and Ancestors. Crafting can show our place in the world, our political views, our religious views, and of course, simply express our creativity. We can express our relationship with the world, family, and our own Self.
I have recentlly begun woodworking. I have a good carving set, and a couple different sized sticks of seasoned wood. This craft, if nothing else, is teaching me patience. It can take me about two to three hours just to clean the bark off of an arm-length one inch branch. After a Saturday in which a friend worked with me on a tree spirit. Tree spirits in woodcarving are where you carve a face in a piece of wood; in my case I asked the branch to show me the face it wanted me to carve. I still need to do detail work. So after about eight hours of work there is still more to do to get it right. Perhaps someone back in my family line made woodcarvings. Perhaps they were wheelwrights or toymakers, furniture makers, tailors, or artisans of another sort. In putting my hands to work I can meditate, and I can reach back.
When I work with the tree spirit I can feel the life of the tree in the branch, can see the face it shows me. As I carve, as best I can, I am bringing out the face the tree’s branch has been showing me. The wood beneath my hands, while long separated from the tree, still carries a bit of the vitality the tree had within it. It is my hope, and my work to give that vitality a face I can see without that I see within. It is sacred work, long work, and something I am totally new at. My hope is that the spirit is honored by my work when I am finished.
I first got interested in woodcarving when I saw these amazing God Poles out at Cauldron Farms. To make one, if not many of these, is one of many projects I plan on doing once I am ready to do so. I pray to have the ability to give honor to the Gods whose Images I would be making. Working on this smaller scale with the branch is humbling in and of itself; I am giving my interpretation, my understanding of what this tree’s spirit has shown itself to me as. Doing the same with one of my Gods is daunting. I think of the God Poles, the Tibetan sand paintings, Lupa’s skin spirits, and hope that some day I can bring out such art that would honor my Gods in showing Them as I see Them, show my cosmology in vibrance and beauty, and/or honor the spirits with whom I work with a good home. I look at larger crafts that I have deep interest in, such as organic gardening, permaculture, and forms of biotecture, as not only needed for our survival, but sacred as well. Our outer expression in the world can be a sacred expression, and can take an infinite number of forms if we open ourselves up to it. We can allow the Sacred into every part of our lives, even if it is not as overt as a painting. The way we craft our lives, the way we live in the world can be that expression, our craft. It is my hope to be able to do that: to let the Gods, spirits, and Ancestors as many windows and expressions in my life as I can give Them.
With Anubis coming back into my life in a big way, the Pagan Blog Project has given me some inspiration to write here. I am coming late to this, so I am playing a bit at catch-up!
Anubis’ effect on my life has been profound. He came into my life in a time where I was uncertain of myself and my path, and helped set me straight. When He entered my life again some years later, calling me to His Priesthood, He pushed me to change. His Presence in my life is a constant blessing. I am learning something from Him, even when He is silent, sometimes especially so. For a recap of how where we’ve come from, look here.
He has largely been quiet these last four years since I began my Work with Odin, but now He is back in the fore of my life, and Odin is moving more to the side par the moment. My Work with my Ancestors has picked up, with prayers being made every day to Them, and offerings as often as I can. He seems pleased by this. My work with Him at the moment is largely about small prayers, and making offerings to Him. In my experience, He is not as in-your-face as Odin tends to be, and His lessons with me have been more subtle. He seems to have a kind of infinite patience as you paddle about in circles, waiting for you to get it.
A small statue of Anubis in His half-human form stands on my altar right next to my statue of Odin. He is about half a pen in height, is made from cold-cast resin, and is well-detailed with little bits of gold flecking His black face. When I give offerings of food and water to my Gods, as best as I can, I feed Him and water Him as the ancient priests would have done. While I cannot do this every day in the morning, due to my school schedule, it is powerfully connective to me. Feeding and giving my God, through this statue something to drink. Does He need to be fed, watered, or bathed as a God? No, but, it is such a connective work. I used to think it was a small thing until He asked me a question: “When someone gives you food, water, or bathes you, is that a small thing?”
I think that is a great lesson from Him: the seemingly small things belie great things. The small, everyday gestures of love, devotion, and worship are more important than the large pieces of work. The small things make the big things possible. In reorienting my life around these smaller things I’m better able to do His Work, and life comes at me in a way I can handle a lot better. I’m not scrambling around for help, or wondering what I should do. There is a foundation of Work already there, to rely on and to call on. I am just beginning to find the benefits of this slower path as Anubis has come back to the fore in my religious life. The far slower pace I have with Him this time is letting me hear His Voice much deeper, and clearer than I used to. It is a work in progress, but His patience with me and my Work taking on a more slow pace gives me room to stretch and breathe, like the difference between stretching with Yoga and speed bag training.
He is a guide, but He does not shove you through the door. He has waited, with His incredible patience, to get to the point I am at. I am just beginning to relearn about Him. To regain that deep familiarity with His Voice that I had when I was His priest full-time. To deepen my devotion work with Him. I look forward to my journey, and pray for patience.