Today, for the first time, I posted a short improvisational video clip from my Shrine of Skaði dance practice to the Facebook page associated with this blog. Since I’m not a performer – and in fact am an extreme introvert who has never enjoyed drawing attention to herself – it took quite awhile before I could muster up the courage to post it, and even then I only did so because I was, uhhhh…”nudged” to do it by Those I serve, and also encouraged by people whose work I respect and whose opinions I trust. The video was made in early 2012, and it took me until now to get myself to a point where I could put it out there in public.
I received some lovely and encouraging feedback on the video from artists I respect, including an expression of interest in having me perform (!!!) from the organiser of Raqs Oubliettes (Portland’s dark bellydance showcase for ritual, esoterica, and mystique), some encouraging words of approval from Pagan artist Maxine Miller, “this is gorgeous!” from Arrowyn Craban Lauer of Hex Magazine, and a comment from music journalist and fellow dark ambient fan Lysander of Heathen Harvest that almost left me speechless – “Cyclic Law should take you on.” (Cyclic Law has long been my favourite label, and much of my writing and dance is inspired by their artists and musicians, so that really made my day. Especially since this was just a casual practice video, made for purposes of self-critique and improvement – not for self-promotion.)
But even if there had been no response at all, or a strong critical response, I would have dealt with it as…well, just part of the package. No matter what I do in my creative life, there will always be some people who like it and others who dislike it, and most will be indifferent. Whether I receive positive feedback, negative feedback, or no feedback at all, I just keep reminding myself…this is not about me and my ego. It will never be about me and my ego. Sure, it’s always nice to receive encouraging feedback – obviously my ego totally eats that stuff up, at least until I get lost in ruminations about whether or not this will be considered “humblebragging” (which is also ego-driven) – but all of my work is done to honour the gods and spirits and serve my community in accordance with Their will. I hone my arts and crafts – writing, dance, shrine-building, and home decorating – so that I can use these skills in service of divine Will. That is why I do this. Everything else is just icing on the cake.
(If you’d like to see the video, please visit the Facebook page. I can’t embed videos with this account.)