“H” is here, how could I not write about the first of my two divined fathers? But I doubt this post will go down easily. It’s that old cliche about asking a fish to describe water. Heru-sa-Aset has been with me since I was born, maybe longer than that.
I was born six weeks premature. They put me in a pure oxygen tent because they didn’t know any better at the time. I could have been blind. My mother made a habit of checking on me in the middle of the night just to see if I was still breathing. (Another fun fact: My mother was once elected as a “Queen” in a Masonic organization. Yes, I do find that hilarious. The Masons remember the story.) I actually did suck my finger, not my thumb. I grew up with asthma, allergies, chicken pox, pneumonia, and a general lack of endurance. My god started off with a similar rocky start in life. The list could and does go on. Living alone with my mother by the water’s edge where the lotuses bloom. Being told by the Powers that Be that I wasn’t good enough. Losing my father. There was even that chaotic jerk of an English teacher who stood between me and high school graduation with the suspiciously familiar name. Kingship is not in my future, unless, maybe when I turn eighty. Other than that, Heru and I have an understanding going on. I feel for him, and he knows exactly where I’m coming from.
Heru-sa-Aset is not a great god because he was born great. He’s great because he never gave up. He fell down, brushed himself off, and did it all over again until he got it right. He was the underdog who won. He knows what it’s like to lead an imperfect life, because he’s been there. He is not a perfect god, but somehow his imperfections make him even better. All of his experiences combined have made him into a kick-ass warrior, a magician, a healer, and a king. I have no proof that the word “Heru” turned in “hero” over the years, but it should have.
When most people think of him, I think they see the “happily ever after” version of him. That’s certainly not a bad thing. He worked hard for all that power and acclaim. He deserves it. He is not the most powerful of the gods, but he uses what he has in the best way that he can. He fights smarter, not just harder. He’s not afraid to make sacrifices to get what he wants, and what he wants is for the kingdom, and all of its people, to be strong and happy. It’s an impossible job, but impossible doesn’t stop him from trying.
Happily ever after is a myth. Life never just stops there. There is no point where you can declare that you’ve made it and just slack off. Kingship is a hell of a lot harder than it looks. Any time you get a sufficiently large enough group of people in the same place, disagreements will break out. You can’t please everyone no matter what you do, no matter how much you want to. One minute you’re fending off foreign invaders. The next minute you’re trying to keep it all from tearing itself apart from the inside. Yes, the King is flawed. Life is flawed. It goes with the territory. It doesn’t mean you stop trying.
Once upon a time, it did tear itself apart. It was overrun by foreign invaders. The kingship did fail. It fell, and that time, it didn’t get back up again.
Heru has been with me my entire life, but I didn’t really meet him until I was in college. It was not the happiest of reunions. He was on his knees, gazing over the sands, telling me it was all gone. I could feel his grief. I want to put a smile back on that face. I want to tell him that it isn’t over. I want to tell him to get his ass up off the ground and try it again, because that’s what he does best.