After the venting on my livejournal, as you can well imagine, I had more than a few conversations with some trusted friends in person (or online) that I found to be extremely helpful. I thought I would share the insights I have received and show you how smart my friends are. :)
I was told to suck it up and just jump back in there. Might not seem all that insightful to you, I understand, but sometimes, there is nothing more helpful than a good kick in the pants.
I talked it out with a friend who sometimes has similar feelings. We decided this: when you stand close to the fire, you sometimes get hot, and it causes you to step back. But, when you step back, the absence of heat is immediately noticeable. If I am feeling cold and disconnected, perhaps I should step once more closer to the fire (see above kick in the pants to suck it up and jump back in).
I talked with a couple of friends who told me I am high maintenance because I am a Bard (this is actually a positive commentary; hear it out). I give A LOT of myself, and often, and I need to be filled back up as a result. When I don't get filled up, I feel empty, and it is even more noticeable when the very people I expect to fill me up don't do it. So, I need to communicate that I need recharged, need my ego stroked. Um, this is not flattering, I know, but it is more accurate than I want it to be. Insightful little glimpse of the narcissistic side of myself I try not to invite to the fire, but Diva is as Diva does.
Finally, from one of my favorite people, I received this gem of information that has put it all into perspective: Instead of pouring yourself out to them, why not try to resonate with them.
It was like the sound of one hand clapping; that thought you consider that sends you immediately into a deeper state. And it hit me like a ton of bricks.
I am pushing and pushing and pushing, like an electric guitar with no amplifier. No matter how hard I strum the chords, only those closest to me will hear them, and it will be only a semblance of their potential. What I need to do is be the banjo. A banjo is a five string instrument. The strings are strung much like a guitar, but the body is made of a drum head. The thing that sets the banjo apart is the resonator ring. The Banjo has evolved over time to include this wooden and metal ring that amplifies the sound of the strings and projects it. It helps the banjo stay in tune, makes the single notes plucked more easily discernible and makes the chords ring out--loud, loud, loud.
Back in my Catholic days, I was a cantor. I stood up at the front of the congregation and lead call-and -response-type songs. It gave me a peaceful and beautifully reverent glow the rest of the day because my heart was truly happy doing it. I think that feeling is what I am looking for in the Grove. It worked in the Catholic setting because I stood in the center, struck a chord and with a wave of my hand, the entire congregation resonated with me. In the Grove, right now, all I am doing is strumming the Hel out of an unplugged electric guitar.
So, what the heck does this have to do with finding my place in the Grove? Everything and nothing. It has everything to do with me and nothing to do with anyone else. It is about finding the spot where my chords echo throughout my Grovemates. It is about finding those things within us all that will cause a sympathetic vibration--which will result in resonance. Most of all, it is about me. I need to stop wasting all my energy strumming in silence and let the instrument do the work for me.
Finally, the question of the day: If I am the banjo and my grovemates are the resonator ring, then what, pray-tell are the chords? Those, dear friends, are the sounds of Teutates, playing the strings of my heart.