“I’m bad and that’s good. I will never be good, and that’s not bad. There’s no one I’d rather be, than me.”
Bad Guy Affirmation, Wreck-It Ralph
When I talk about working with Loki, or really with any jotnar, the questions seem inevitable. How do I stand that energy? That intensity? That destructiveness? How do I live with so much chaos around me?
The real question, if you know me, is how could I not live with that energy in my life. There’s a reason I talk about monsterwork and destruction and deconstruction. That’s who I am, and that’s how I work. Jotunheim is a much better fit for me than Asgard. I ain’t no country club boy. When I see Loki, he’s free. When I work with the other jotnar, there’s no pretense of it being safe, or of them being tame. Ran is the ravenous ocean, Hraesvelgr is the churning storm, Logi is the wildfire and Surt is the fire at the heart of creation.
Why do I work with them? Because that’s the energy that I need in my life. Stagnation drives me up a wall, and more than that, it can actually make my OCD worse. There is a fear that, if things are calm, I must be simply waiting for the next chaotic thing. I’m happier when things are happening and changing, whether internally or externally. I may not have complete control over them, but choosing to give up control is still a choice.
People seem to worry that Loki is going to wander uninvited into lives that are happy and settled and completely fulfilled and tear them down for no good reason, or maybe because it’s funny. Loki is not actually the God of Fishmalk. He brings necessary change when things are stagnant. He changes that which needs to be changed. If you’re actually, honestly, in your bones happy with your life… well, he’s probably got better things to do.
Civilization is wonderful in many ways (medical technology and the internet are great), but wildness is also necessary, both within and without. To ask the jotnar to be safe, to be peaceful, to stand down from battling the Aesir… that is to ask them to be something they’re not. Asking “why do you work with chaos” is a meaningless question. We all work with chaos, every day of our lives. We are at the mercy of traffic, weather, cell mutation and the stock market.
The jotnar are what they are. Nature is what it is. To curse the wilderness for being wild, to curse the monsters for being monstrous, is a waste of energy. If you can’t embrace that, at least understand it. Chaos always waits, panting and hungry, at the edge of the firelight. There’s no point in chastising the darkness. Use luck and random chance just as you use technology and law. Learn what you can from both sides and find your balance in between rather than screaming at the ocean and the fire.