Get off your knees

There’s a line from Alan Moore’s 2016 interview in Pagan Dawn that has haunted me for the last 18 months. Talking about the bard tradition, he said “You can kill or cure with a word. Get off of your knees.”  (You can read the whole interview here –

At first it stung, because it was true. Over time it led me to look hard at why I had been on my knees. There were a lot of reasons, to do with things I’d been through, people I’d dealt with, bodily ill health and poor mental health. Over the last year or so I’ve put my health first, and that’s been a key part of getting up. This summer it struck me that getting off my knees was not just about overcoming difficulty, but about deliberate choice.

It means not being afraid to act, to lead, to set things in motion and to take responsibility. It means imagining that I can do things on a larger scale.

Fears around leadership have not been about the idea that I couldn’t do it – I’ve done it before, I know I can. It’s more a fear of accidentally railroading others, of accidentally disempowering others, and of turning into some kind of self important ass-hat. I figure that so long as I stay alert to that kind of issue, I can negate it as I go. I don’t want power over anyone, I want to get things done, it should be fine.

Some of it was about having a good place to stand once I’d stood up. I’m finding those places, there seem to be a few of them. The Pagan Federation, my local bardic community, Moon Books, my little family at Sloth Comics, and two further spaces that I’m contemplating and waiting to see what happens with because there’s no rush. In some of those spaces I will be more active than others, and I expect the balance to shift from time to time. It’s more than enough to be going along with.

In terms of dreaming bigger, that’s simply been happening. I’ve got ideas about events, books, art, co-operative companies, studio space, a house… I want to operate on a totally different scale and I’m seeing how I can make that happen, and hopefully take a fair few people with me while I’m doing it. At the moment, things still feel poised, and I’m holding the balance, waiting to see what pulls and what suggests itself. At some point this winter (because I do not try to live in harmony with the standard wheel of the year narrative) I’m going to start moving in earnest, I think.

Getting off my knees. Finding who wants to do things with me. Ignoring the people who have a problem with that and not letting them slow me down. I do not have to be small simply to make others more comfortable, and I certainly don’t need anyone who thinks making me small for their comfort is a good idea. I think in the last 18 months I’ve mostly freed myself from those sorts of connections, but I won’t hesitate to do it again if I need to. Onwards!

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

9 responses to “Get off your knees

  • roselle angwin

    Yes absolutely. I think a lot about what it means to live on the edge of loss/fear/illness/transience/fill in whatever you like and still choose to make empowering choices for self and others around. We have that freedom of consciousness.

    I tell myself often ‘Get a grip on yourself, girl’ – it reminds me that intention is important.

    Thank you for this, Nimue.

  • janeycolbourne

    I’m interested that you say you don’t try to live in harmony with the standard wheel of the year. I tend to follow my own intuitive path, that has its own rhythm, although of course the seasons do affect me. I have difficulty with fitting into any kind of precise calendar and prefer to flow with my observations. I think the celebrations around the wheel of the year are only approximations to the rhythm of nature.

  • Christopher Blackwell

    Glad to see that your personal progress continues. I think as you do more and more of what you feel is necessary for you, you will come to enjoy it even more. You find there is no reason to ask permission of anyone else. You just have to decide what is important to you.

    There is some irony in this, as you become more successful at choosing your own path, others may start looking to you for advice and trying to make see yourself as a leader. That role too is also a matter of choice, as to how much more that you want to take on.

    Myself, I tend to avoid becoming either a leader, or a follower.

  • amandavanniekerk

    Our winters are mostly sunny but cold here in Johannesburg South Africa. We’ve just come out of winter and I look back on a past few months where I felt very motivated and creative and I even started blogging for the first time! So I say go for it whatever the weather. You know what to do. Wishing you love and strength.

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