best friend comments

Anybody Have a Match?

I was going to write something else but, I think I’ll write this…

I have a friend…well…in this context it’s Aj and, by now, if you don’t know her, just read back a few…anyway, she spends a decent portion of her budget on candles. She keeps one lit for my house pretty much constantly. It’s a form of putting energy and light back into the “system”. It’s a way to, pardon the analogy, “pray”…even if that’s not exact…

That sounds like Church ritual. Go into almost any Catholic, Lutheran, or Episcopal church and you will see candles lit. You will find them used throughout our Holy Day rituals representing light and purity…

We use the symbolism of transferring light to light to mean exactly the same things. We use the purity of the flame with the same meaning…

So, if we do something and it means the same as what “they” do and has roots in the same ancient rituals predating our faith…hmmmmmm

*****

I want to touch the thing that I can not figure out how to write and probably still don’t…

I KNOW Aj. I trust her to “pray” for my house. I’ll take blessings where ever they may come from. I trust the purity of her soul, even if I don’t share her beliefs…as she doesn’t share mine…To think that she’s evil is as incorrect as think that water is dry. It is an untruth and proven time and again…

I suppose, rephrase, I know that means I’m a heretic. To trust her purity and prayer is “against my religion” except that it isn’t against what I know of the Lady. I trust HER. I believe her. I always will and always have. Period.

I Hate Shoes, or Grounding 101

I hate shoes. My feet don’t like being trapped. I don’t particularly like the way feet look, I just can’t stand having mine confined in shoes and socks. First thing I do after work is take off my shoes and socks. In the “slightly less than totally freezing” season I wear Crocs. In the Winter, I wear fuzzy lined Crocs. In the “warm enough that cold concrete doesn’t make my toe bones ache” season, bare feet. If you want to know where I think demons live, it’s in the toes of dress shoes…

I love the feel of comfy grass. Cool concrete is peaceful. Walking on a beach. Hanging your feet in the water. All of those things are only properly done without shoes. Hard to feel the grass through them…Those help me to calm down. They are restful and calming.

Aj, on the other hand, NEEDS time without shoes. There is an intentional process called Grounding. The short version is that it is a way to release negative energy. It is a way to gain useful energy.

More specifically, it is a process of sending the anger and frustration into the Earth through direct contact with it and once that is gone, to gain calming energy to replace it…

Hmmmm…

That sounds quite a bit like me wanting to walk in the yard or sit out back with my shoes off when I’m pissed…The only difference is that she KNOWS she’s doing it and I just thought it made me feel better because I hate shoes…

I’ll have Door Number 2

I thought of some more questions so, I thought I’d ask them…

St Augustine said in “The City of God”?
Yeah, he said all sorts of things. He said that all polytheistic religions were only there because they were hedonistic in their nature. He called everything not Christian demon inspired, ignoring that demons are a Judeo/Christian concept…He was writing propaganda to a specific audience right after the Sack of Rome. He was looking for an excuse to blame the decline of the Roman Empire on anything but Rome. It happens.

Why do you insist on writing these if you don’t think anyone actually reads them?
Well…the short answer is “Aj”. The medium answer is “I gave my word I would to her”. To be a bit longer than that…I’m selfish. I want to not be concerned that she is being hassled or stressed. I want to not feel like I have to pray for her safety when I say my prayers. I am also a proud person. Yeah, pride isn’t good but, this is an exception. One of the finest humans I know picked me to be a part of her life. I will, metaphorically, shout it from the rooftops. That not many people read these isn’t a good enough reason to stop. I get to write about and for someone dear to my “tiny little cast iron heart”. The final reason is that, gives some of the stuff she’s allowed me to write and the way she’s been “used” in posts, she’s as much a part of these as I am. I am merely the guy typing. If she won’t quit, neither may I. I hope that she and I might change someone’s, anyone’s, mind.

Don’t you fear that your faith…?
Interestingly enough, because of these and her, my faith is stronger, not compromised. I had to examine, still have to, my beliefs and my interactions with God. I had to read and re-read the words of Jesus and examine what they mean to me as a Christian. I had to examine my own life in light of those words. In short, no.

I’ve heard they have rituals. What about those?
We have rituals. We do Communion and believe in Transubstantiation of the wafers and the wine during that process. We have collective prayers. We make offerings of money and effort. Do you mean like those? Every faith has ritual practices. It’s the nature of humans to want to do those and find comfort in the practice of them.

As a follow-up, I’ve heard there’s *whispers* nudity?
Honestly, I have no clue. I really don’t want to imagine my friends nude because we’re a bunch of middle-aged people. If you’re curious, I have this Cleansing Ritual I practice nude. It’s called “taking a shower”…when I get out, there’s a naked middle-aged guy in the mirror and it scares me. Look, there are a bunch of Urban Legends. Do y’all believe those, too?

But, Miller, aren’t they trying to influence worldly events by what they are doing in their practices?
Yes, they are trying to persuade spiritual interaction in the material world. So what? When I pray for protection and safety for my wife and Aj, isn’t that exactly the same thing? Aren’t I trying to get the Spiritual World to directly influence the Material World?

So, y’all are Science Deniers?
Huh? Oh, got it, you mean that I don’t believe in physics or chemistry or engineering? Nope, in fact, when I look at the incredible biochemical machine that a single cell is, much less, the grouping of cells made into systems and, those systems working together to provide an organism, I see engineering and science at it’s finest. To deny an Engineer seems to me to be the height of folly. I’m typing on a computer. I acknowledge that it is designed and manufactured, why not something vastly more complex?

What about…?
Well, I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess at the question. I AM human. I make mistakes. I HAVE believed things that are untrue. I could be mistaken in my beliefs. Making mistakes are a part of being human…
Not the question? Oh…well…I am sure of two things, I am sure that I love my wife more than my next breath. I am sure that I am truly Blessed, in the Christian sense, to have been given a chance to have a friend that is worth writing about and for in Aj.
Yeah, this is an attempt, like it will always be, to convince all four of you that read these to see the Person that she is and treat her with the dignity and respect that her life has earned.

If you are reading these and have any questions that do not involve her family, geographic location, or would compromise her safety or that of any other person, please ask. If I get enough, meaning more than 2, I’ll write up her answers.

 

Four Out Of Five Doctors Surveyed

I thought I would answer some questions but, I’ll ask for y’all and then answer them as they come to mind…

You’ve alluded to a difference that was hard for you to reconcile. What was it?
I am a Christian. She is a polytheist. It wasn’t difficult on HER end because she knew I was Christian and, although it could have been difficult for her if I was a jerk, I wasn’t a jerk. The difficulty was on my end. Something along the lines of “you’re a what?” She gave me about a year to process what I saw with what I thought. I got over it. Now, even more now than then, I appreciate the difference because it doesn’t matter that much.

So, y’all are an interfaith friendship?
No. Most definitely no. We are friends. We are people that love each other and just happen to be of different sets of beliefs. “Interfaith” implies that we are seeking some points of intersection between our systems of beliefs. There are commonalities of results but, the two do not intersect.

Doesn’t that present some kind of problems?
No. Because she understands Christianity, she sees where I’m coming from. Because I think the world of her, I don’t care that she’s not Christian. Truth be told, I “understand”, in a limited sort of way, “some” aspects of her beliefs. What I see and care about are the results. Those are that she is at peace and has some spirituality. I have an innate distrust of people that are not spiritual in some form or fashion. Sorry, that’s my own bias.

Would one or the other of you like it if the other person were to change beliefs?
Again, no. Why would I want her to change? Her beliefs are a deeply important part of who she is. My beliefs are equally as important to me. If either of us were to remove those, we would not be the same. I would not change her if I could. It would mean the loss of an essential part of her.

If you could change something she does, what would it be?
I said it up there, Not. One. Tiny. Thing. She is the Perfect Aj. Leave the topic alone. I am content with the person that she is. I wish she lived closer but, she won’t leave the heat and I won’t leave Texas.

Does your wife know how close you are? As a follow-up, does she have a problem with that?
Yes, she knows. No, she doesn’t have a problem. Why would there be a problem? Gender? What a stupid reason to avoid someone.They are two different people. One, I married and am entirely faithful to. The other, I didn’t marry, although I’ve known her almost as long. I am, to borrow a term, “fiercely loyal” to Aj Just as I am proud that my wife picked me, I am equally proud that Aj did. Two great people allow me to share their lives.

Ok, explain how this works. You believe in an Abrahamic God and she’s a polytheist. Doesn’t one preclude the other?
No. From what I’ve read and am able to gather, Abram made a covenant and became a monotheist. Nowhere does it say that the Old Gods went away. It says that he decided to worship one God. That was the Old Covenant. The New Covenant was between the followers of Christ and replaced the old one. Her views are that she was never part of that and she follows the old gods and is not subject to either. I haven’t asked if she believes that mine exists. I really don’t worry about that much, it’s like comparing apples and football. They don’t intersect.

That smacks of pluralism. What’s your answer to that?
I’d have to ask her what views she has specifically on an afterlife. I “think” that she believes that her energy rejoins the universe or a fashion of god-mind. I believe that Christian Heaven and Hell exist for Christians. Those are two very different concepts.

So, you compromised your beliefs to include her? You became a Heretic to keep from having to send your friend to Hell?
Nope. The Bible says that I am not to judge the condition of someone’s Soul. I believe she has one. I believe that, like it says in Job, that He knew her before she was born. If He wanted her to be other than she is, He would have made her that way. I also believe that He put the two of us in each other’s lives for a reason. I do not believe that there was intent to harm either of us. I mean, He IS God. It would be a tiny god that couldn’t do as he desired.
I’ll give it this, to answer the “heretic” part. It is not particularly Scriptural…and it isn’t “not” for me to want to believe that my God, even if she doesn’t share my faith, loves her, too. He would not have created someone like that if He didn’t. Of all the people that He made that illustrate what He wants us to be like, the Good that we are supposed to be, the care for His Creations that we are supposed to have, she is one of the very best examples. If that answer defines heresy, yeah, she influenced that.

If any of y’all have any questions you want us to attempt to answer, please ask. If I can, I will. If it’s an Aj question, I’ll ask her and reply. Thanks again for reading these.

 

There’s a Woodchuck on the Mantle

An elephant in the room is a large moving thing that you can not avoid. It takes up all the space and makes life uncomfortable. It is intimidating…

On the other hand, a woodchuck on the mantle WILL get your attention. If you’re not expecting it, it will startle you. Not everyone keeps a woodchuck in the house…in fact, most people wouldn’t even consider it. It does take a bit of getting used to. After that, it really becomes less and less of a distraction. You ask about woodchucks. You learn where they fit into the ecosystem. You discover how they live…then after all of that, you just think, “woodchucks, huh? Okie dokie.” and drive on.

If it weren’t for the fact that I write about Aj in the vast majority of these, the “woodchuck” wouldn’t be anywhere close to the first thing I think of when I think about her. It wouldn’t be in the top 5. There are more important things. Not taking away from it but, it just isn’t something to be “concerned” about.

Anyway…I wouldn’t keep a woodchuck in the house. I’m not a big fan of them. I am a huge fan of Aj. So, if I want Aj as a part of my world, and short of my wife she’s the most important non-blood relation in my world, I have to figure out a way to come to grips with it, right? Just as a note, I DID figure out a way. It was simple, I love her to bits so, woodchucks pale in comparison to that affection…

*grins*

What do I have to worry about? She loves me and I have a porcupine on the coffee table…

Sorry Aj, You’re not my best friend.

…geography sucks…

Aj lives a thousand miles away. She also used to live a thousand miles away in the opposite direction. She keeps telling me we could move but, I’m as stubborn as she is and I will not leave Texas. I keep telling her she could move but, being the stubborn lady she is, she refuses to leave her desert.

…yeah, geography really sucks…

Back to the story. I did some digging to try to figure out the timing of events. I had it backward. The “love you best” comment preceded the Best Friend bit, Just as an aside, an imperfect memory makes sense since my eyes are getting bad, my hair is wandering away, and I can’t remember what the third thing was…

Processing what happened and why., there, that spot…

A “tiny” digression, why do I write about Aj all the time and not something else? Well, I like to cook. It’s my hobby. I have another hobby, it’s “doing nice things for my wife”. Cooking helps with that. I won’t say I talk to Aj every day but, she crosses my mind quite a bit. Since that “geography” thing precludes cooking for her, too, writing is what I have that’s “doing nice things for Aj”. If you had a friend that you loved as much as I love her, wouldn’t you try to do nice things for them, too?

Timelines are important. The order of events makes a difference. I had the cause and the effect reversed…I was a smarta$$ and a year after that she decided I was her best friend. She waited ’till I was ready…That or she sort of knew and the thought framed itself after I was willing to deal with it. I get overwhelmed and she knows that. For what it’s worth, I asked her and the answer was if that I couldn’t handle all she is…I am a bit dense sometimes…

I wrote everything above this before work. I’m on Light Duty so, work is mindless with a bunch of time to think. The following section is what I finally realized…something I should have figured out a long, well several years, ago.

My wife isn’t my “best wife”. There is not a scale that she fits. She’s “My Wife”. There is a space in me that she fills. I can not define it or her. I can not replace her. Her place within me is hers.

All along I’ve been calling Aj my “best friend”. What a load of hooey. To use that phrase puts her on some kind of grid or list. It limits her to a space, even if it’s the top, and implies that she could be replaced. It defines and qualifies. I think she’ll be surprised to find out that she isn’t my best friend. I don’t have a term to replace it with other than “my Aj”. I  think she’ll be happy about that…and if she isn’t, she’ll tell me. There is an “Aj shaped hole” that she fills. It’s much less complicated…and much more…than simply “best friend”…

I think this is enough pondering and wandering for today. I hope that whoever reads these words finds their Aj, too.

When EF Hutton Talks…

Ya know, I never really let something go till I’ve written it into the ground, like a test pilot, “just let me try one more thi…” and the plane hits the ground. This shouldn’t end like that…*grins*

Where was I?

We ended the last one at the spot where the realization had hit me, belatedly because I’m dense, that I have a Best Friend, right? How ’bout we go on with the tale from there…

I wander through the world expecting people to pretty much be like me. Not the same life or past but, the same values and faith and basic traits. I just sort of see through my own set of perspectives and biases and well, I just do. I hope y’all are catching what I’m attempting to say. I don’t really think that people with different perspectives or ways are stupid or misguided because I don’t think that “I” am so…

Anyway…Aj and I share the same values. We have different perspectives because life gets you to different places at different times except for one tiny thing…

Do you have that one friend that challenges ALL your preconceived notions of how things are “supposed” to be? If you don’t, find one. It is good for you. I think that we need to be knocked off center so that we have to look at ourselves. To grow and be stronger, our worldview should be challenged to see if it survives intact or if it needs to be changed.

There I was, minding my own business, being a smarta$$…Well, as the song says…maybe the song doesn’t say…anyway, I made an off the cuff comment and she knocked me right off my complacent tail. That’s what the best kind of friends do, right? They challenge your perceptions of what you think things “should” be. Then they give you the room to figure out what you’re going to do with that. Yeah, she did nudge me a bit. She let me process things in my own head but, wasn’t going to let me assume that I could just let my mind form her into something she wasn’t.

Honestly, I lost a bunch of sleep figuring out what to do. Several nights, meaning I woke up in my sleep for a few weeks trying to figure stuff out…and she’d answer my questions and leave me alone. Not “alone” alone but, none of that silly “how does that make you feel?” b.s. I was given a chance to walk away. Bear in mind, this is after she’s decided that we are best friends and after I’ve gotten through “another woman has said ‘love’ to me and I am still able to be faithful to my wife”.

Obviously, by now, I didn’t follow my first instinct and run. I didn’t do what came next and try to convince her of “the error of her ways” and get her to change. That wouldn’t have worked anyway. She won’t change for anyone except herself. She’ll remain true to who she is and let the chips fall where they may.

There is a reason for that story. I want y’all to see Aj. Honestly, I want y’all to be a bit jealous that someone like that would decide that I’m her Best Friend. *grins* I’d like it if you’d become “attached” to her. She does figure “fairly prominently” in this blog and my life so, seeing her for the person that she is sort of makes sense in this context…or any other…*grins* Isn’t that the point of any story about a friend, to help you like them? I DO like her.

I did get over my own hang-ups and say, “I love you, too”. It doesn’t seem unfaithful. My wife has met her. My wife likes her and likes that I have her as a Best Friend *editorial, my wife doesn’t like many people. She’s not a “people person”* That also says a lot.

I think I’ll leave the story here for now. *grins* Watch this space for The Continuing Saga of Miller and Aj…