Eshu

“Jim, you’re an eshu.”

Thus spoke my old friend Kent, who’s long had a knack for uttering Truth, after I’d driven us through three yellow lights in a row to arrive for an appointment at just the right time.

We were all playing role-playing games back then, and Kent was referring to the eshu of a game called Changeling. Based on the Eshu of African Yoruba, the eshu of Changeling were storytellers and travelers. Fate had a way of smiling on them in a capricious way. An eshu could be relied on to never take the most direct path to a location, but the one that gave him the best story to tell. Likewise, an eshu rarely arrived at a place when he was supposed to arrive – but he always arrived when he needed to.

And yes, Kent’s offhand comment had that ring of Truth.

When things have needed to happen in my life they’ve happened. Not what I wanted, when I wanted. It’s never been like. But when something has needed to happen it does. In time, when I let it. Wu wei in practice. I owe my life to it, actually, but that’s a story you have to buy me scotch to get.

Eshu of Yoruba is the protector of travelers and the deity of roads, particularly crossroads.

For the last several years I’ve felt like I’ve been on a rail rather than a road. I made decisions, and there were precious few crossroads once I got on that path. As I look back I can see that, while it might not have been the most pleasant of paths, it was still a path that took me past much that would have been unpleasant otherwise.

But the path was still a rail. Not a road, and precious few crossroads.

That’s been changing the last few months. I’ve caught few glimpse of other paths through the undergrowth, the rails have faded into the dirt and it’s starting to feel like I’m walking on a road again rather than riding the rails.

There might even see a few crossroads up ahead.

I’m letting them come. I feel like an eshu again.