Saturday, March 21, 2015

My problem with responsibility

I have been absent from here for some time. One of the reasons for that is that I periodically think to myself 'I must write a blog post', and when I think that I know that writing a post because I feel beholden to this blog in some way is the wrong reason to do it.
I remain in the process of finding a permanent home, and in true witch style, if you should wish to find me you only have to follow the trail of bruised and bloodied estate agents to find me. Honestly, these people actively try to stop themselves doing their own job. I seem finally to have found an estate agent who is up to my standards of sensibleness and reliability. If I email her a question she replies either the same day with the information I require or to say she is finding it out. In fact, she's almost come on side (don't worry, the Hound hasn't forgotten that estate agents are in the employ of the vendor, although you wouldn't think that by the one I had). I was even impressed to find that although they've got a very swanky address in the Jewellery Quarter, they seem to be renting an office in a Georgian building which is at best tatty. Doing their job, instead of 'kippers and curtains'.
My thoughts have mostly been turning to the enduring problem I have with that word 'responsibility'. The heavy emphasis placed on this in the witchcraft community almost implies at times that taking responsibility for a situation means anything that goes wrong is always your own fault. Sometimes it is, of course, and the test of that is a frank evaluation of whether you've actually done everything you can to remedy a situation. There is another team in my workplace which has been having a very hard time, for example. I have limited sympathy for them because when you asked whether they have brought collective grievances, and so on, the answer is of course no. A major part of the problem is clearly themselves.
A very different situation is where someone is misusing power over you. In that situation, although the witch must always attempt to make of the situation what she wills, it is possible that your efforts will come to nothing. Apart from the fact that it is usually in that situation, where your back is to the wall, that magic is most spectacularly effective, ones ability to take responsibility for a situation can be compromised by somebody else's actions. This is seen most simply in a lot of bullying behaviours, which is why they are so tortuous for the target. I will still not allow that word that begins with a v to pass my lips.
And this is nicely where the witch comes in, but not in the way you may be expecting. As witches our bread and butter is taking a situation and making something different of it. This is the real fear which witchcraft will always put into those around us. People don't think that we should be able to create independently. Certainly for the Abrahamic traditions which mainly surround us at this end of Europe, creation is a function reserved to God. Witchcraft, by blurring the rigid distinction between what is divine and what is human, permanently puts the mockers on being told that we can't do something.
That said, one of the phrases I do love in the Christian tradition is 'the sins crying to heaven for vengeance'. There are only four of them, they can be found in the Bible. It is this idea of an act so bad it calls for its immediate divine retribution. I'm going to say something quite radical here – I would love to meet a real Christian. I have a feeling that I would get on with a real Christian extremely well, although they would consider me damned. That simple embodiment of divinity in the world is almost exactly what we witches do, with a few different emphases. They would ask God for vengeance on an injustice – we would damn well create that vengeance. It's what we do best, although as everything else it has a come back for the witch, in that once you've dealt with a particular situation, you seem to attract that situation again. Nature knows you can deal with this particular set of circumstances so those circumstances get sent to you over and over again.
And it should come as no surprise to the witch. It has come as no surprise to me that while I have found one estate agent I'm impressed with and my purchase of an absurdly cheap apartment is going through remarkably easily – that is just the hedge looking after the witch. It's one of the things that happens when you bow deeply to the universe: it bows back (I have borrowed this phrase from Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido). For the witch, what she needs will literally fall into her lap at the exact right moment. If it doesn't, give something away. Nature abhors a vacuum and will not be outdone in generosity.
But the real responsibility is to know that in the same time frame I will be cursed with an absolutely idiotic letting agent. I'll assume if you're reading this you're a clever person, but unfortunately it is the case that the majority of the world's population don't learn. They keep on ignoring the blatantly obvious and ending up paying the price. It's just another case of moaning but not doing anything to make a change. I'll also assume if you're reading this, you will understand that I am the warning. You don't need to know that I attempt to be both mercy and severity at once to understand that as a human being you should treat me right. I don't expect to be given special treatment, you don't have to know I'm a witch, you just have to do the right thing. This agent took a reference from my employer, which asked amongst other things, about my attitude to other people's property. They were asking the wrong question. They should have asked what kind of enemy I would make. It's not difficult, they only had to mend the gutter. When they didn't, I also made it plain they only had to write me a cheque to compensate me for the damage. When they didn't they made the mistake of trying to intimidate me out of taking legal action. They should really have asked what I am like when the gloves are off, because that's when it gets painful, and it will be painful because they have invited the universe to cause them pain by not treating the witch right.
As usual the hedge has bent over backwards to take care of me, not least because I'm sitting here writing this virtually on top of the river which is the reason for the city. Advertisements have appeared in Birmingham's buses for a solicitors firm which specialises in tenancy problems, and I have put the problem in their hands. They are no win no fee, so I stand not to lose anything, whatever happens. The lettings agency have invited the hedge to give them trouble. It will end costing them much more money (and what's the betting they'll be really pissed off when I turn down monetary offers associated with gagging clauses?), and the negative publicity will cause their business to be dissolved again. I notice a business of the same name was dissolved in 2010. I'm a witch and an INFJ: don't piss me off because I will find out your stuff. And here's what they will do next: they will put up the rent when my assured shorthold tenancy comes to an end. Not a problem – grist to my mill, that is. In something like two months' time I will be all set up in the city centre. And all of this will come out in court. Because they wouldn't take responsibility, this is. They've attracted to themselves someone who will and will take them to school.
Incidentally, I must post the result of another post I've made a little while back, about having a problem with someone at work. I eventually withdrew my complaint, but what I didn't know was that while I sent mine in, another one went in as well. He applied for a promotion, and didn't get it, to his great chagrin. Shame. Shouldn't be an idiot. It's just some people need a firm lesson a right action. And there's no guarantee they'll get the lesson.