For the last two years I haven’t had a bed. My children have a bed because toddler beds aren’t expensive, but my husband and I have been bunking on the floor. At first the floor was hard and I couldn’t get a good night’s sleep. Every night was a battle with my body, tossing and turning, bitching and moaning. The first few weeks after we moved (I pushed the move because Loki was shrieking NOW, NOW, NOW at me about it) we were sleeping on the hardwood floor of what is now our living room. We decided to move to one of the carpeted rooms to add some padding. Then we found some old blankets when we started to get everything unpacked, and that’s what we’ve been sleeping on ever since.
I’m actually comfortable sleeping on the floor now. It’s not the best, but I can have a good night’s sleep. We’ve added pillows over time and it’s kind of like sleeping in an old depiction of a harem room.
I do a lot of writing these days, which is what Loki encourages in me. I have a natural talent with words and he nourishes it. It hasn’t made me rich yet, and honestly I’m not sure it ever will, but my art is my life.
I don’t have nice clothing. I have two pairs of jeans and a rotating tee shirt collection full of comic book characters and kitchy sayings I layer with plain long sleeved tees in the winter. I have a pile of fluffy socks as a concession to the frozen northlands we live in.
I don’t need nice clothing to write in. I need clothing to survive in. I don’t need to be toasty warm to write because if I am I get sleepy and drowsy, and I’m under a caffeine ban, so that’s not good. I’m actually at optimum mental awareness when I’m a bit colder than I would prefer, since I would prefer to be wrapped up in a fleece cocoon when the weather dips below fifty degrees.
We spend most of our money on food because we try to fuel our bodies as healthfully as possible on a budget. Fresh fruit and vegetables cost money, even when I’m as thrifty as possible about where I buy them.
Loki has been on me not to eat certain things from the beginning, and trips to my doctor confirm every time that He’s had a valid point. The foodstyle he wants from me is very basic, holistic, and not purchased. He prefers things made from my own hands for both Himself and me, even though He enjoys candies, but He doesn’t demand them from me the way He did at the beginning. He has shifted His requests to more homey things as I’ve become comfortable with Him. He’s become as much a member of my household as my husband and children. My husband talks to Him now. I catch Him chatting with Loki sometimes after I’ve gone to bed, and he sheepishly says They have things to talk about. Food is home and Loki’s say in it has been nothing but good for us.
I don’t buy new things. I don’t buy things I don’t need. The bulk of my purchases are for my children, to ensure they have the clothing they need, books to learn from, toys to play with, and generally they don’t feel the sting of our lifestyle the way I do. I try to take care of my family and loved ones first.
Is that ascetism? On the surface my life has been paired down greatly, at least in material goods, in following requests and demands from Loki Himself, in His insistence that I follow my own dreams as well. Living sparsely has turned out to make me happier than I ever have been. It turns out when you have no money to spend you don’t worry about spending it. When you have no money to spend material goods beyond those linked to survival don’t have a pull on you any longer. If we need something, really need it, the money seems to pop up.
I think more for myself now.
Asceticism leads to disconnection from materialism and mainstream ideals which are intimately connected to THINGS and WANTING THEM and often unhealthy, and in that way Loki has lead me to an ideal I’d only read about and topically investigated as part of other religions. Buddhist monks weren’t even allowed to beg meals beyond the one for the day they were living, and they lead poor lives of fulfillment.
I’ve been leading a form of ascetic monasticism for Loki for about two years and I didn’t even see it. No, I’m not celibate, so I’m not what those from a Christian background would consider a monk in that manner, but I tend Loki’s altar, I try to live my life to make Him, myself, and my family proud, and I write stories that He sometimes has a hand in inspiring and influencing while trying to keep my spiritual life rich and open to new experiences. Every day I interact with the Gods I work with. Every day I read some new spot of lore or hear some new idea whether I’m trying to or not.
I’m an Ascetic Lokean by Loki’s design.
I’ve often joked with myself about Loki being the God of Thrift, but maybe, just maybe, He’s a god who has an Ascetic path to His fabulous center.
…Yeah, just blew my own mind today. Thank you, Loki, my Sweetest Friend.