cupcakes

How In the H**l Did That Happen?

I didn’t set out to find a friend…much less a teacher. I was being a smart alec and rude. It was a stupid PvP game. How was I to know that, years later, the game would be gone and the friend remain? I wasn’t really looking for anything except for a foil to my inner smarta$$.

As much as I want, I can not wrap her in tissue paper and protect her like a china doll, nor would she want me to.

She puts up with my “antics”, fears, frustrations, missteps, poor phrasing, overthinking, rambles, and “scruffy” mind. She chides, cajoles, and forces me to think. Sometimes she tells me to go away…and that’s cool, too. I don’t even begin to know why. *She’s trying to teach me not to ask and I’m trying to learn that* I do know this, though, she loves me and that’s enough.

Sometimes, mostly, there aren’t really formal lessons. This isn’t school where its Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic. It’s more, I find out something by accident that I need to learn and she nudges me in the right direction…usually without me realizing it.

*****

I’ve been writing this over a period of a few days because I really feel like having something for tomorrow and I don’t really have a clue. A wise woman told me that writing says, paraphrase, more about the writer than the subject. I agree. Sometimes *grins* I hope that writing in first-person isn’t saying “I’m a narcissist” *grins again* or “I’m just a big bag of neurotic wrapped in a nice old guy” *grins 3rd time*

*****

Oh yeah, the title. Oops, almost forgot it. *editorial, I usually have a title before a post. It substitutes for an outline* It’s sort of rhetorical. I know how it happened. It happened because I did something I rarely do. I listened and found wisdom. I had an old mentor teach me that when wisdom appeared, don’t question your notions of the source, just accept it. Funny thing, I don’t think he, a “fundie” Christian, was talking about a Pagan woman a few years younger than me. *grins* I LOVE irony. *grins again* He’d flip if he knew that I was allowing myself to be taught by a woman…much less an un-believer…

So, here’s an other thought…Even though I call her “teacher”, and that is true, she’s really my best friend…and happens to teach me stuff. *editorial, sometimes that’s “sit down and shut up* She really just lives her life and answers my questions. Sometimes even when I drive her to distraction…

*****

Some other thinking, I KNOW she doesn’t want “married” again. What I want for her is for someone, besides her children, to let her be the most important person in their world. I want, for her, hugs, security, comfort, sex, passion, and words like “I love you. I couldn’t imagine my life without you. You are the most beautiful woman in the world”. *editorial, in my view, the most beautiful woman in the world is the one you look at and see “forever”. I married mine* Those things are not too much to want for your best friend.

*****

*grins*

So, how did this happen? How did an uptight “fundie” come to think a Pagan wasn’t going to Hell? How did a smarta$$ wind up being best friends with a “target”? How did that morph into “teacher” all the while remaining best friend?

*grins again*

What I do know is this. All those silly “why” questions don’t matter. They’re a waste of energy. I’ll keep what I’ve got and enjoy it. I am a lucky guy. I have a best friend that is my wife…and I have a best friend that is not…and they both want the best for me.

Life is good…y’all have a nice day and I hope you have the same luck…

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D**n Confusing Woman…or, An Old Comfortable Pair of Jeans…

I have a friend. *grins* I really have several but, this is about one. She easily GIVES praise, when she thinks it’s deserved and will argue you into the ground to make you see it in yourself but, she REFUSES to see it in herself. Allow me to quote her…

“Sometimes I have to step back. I do not see in myself these things you write about me. I am just being me. I live my life the best way I can and do my best to always be kind and caring. I have my human moments but I ground myself and remember that every thing and every person has a purpose. I may not always know what that purpose is, but I am certain that there is one. With me just being me, I am at times taken aback when I realize these words are about me.”

Yes, you are human. I used the phrase, “In truth, she can be a stone b***h and highly opinionated”. You are entirely capable of being petty and spiteful. You are able to “beat me up” over a misphrased idea. Some days all I want to say is, “give me a break”. So what?

This was my reply to her, “… you agreed without any condition or editorial input, to be used as an example. You allow and encourage me to share details of your life, health, and faith. You, although you know me well enough to know they exist, have never set any boundaries on what is permissible to reveal. You want me to show your imperfections and failings. You have given unconditional trust to me. Do you know ANYONE else willing to do that? It’s easy to say things about ourselves. It is a far different thing to trust someone else to do that, even your best friend. See?…”

Think about that for a bit. How many of us are willing to let someone, even a trusted friend, to do that? How many are willing to, no matter the cause or end, are willing to be used as an example and have our lives shown to strangers, look at the warts and all, to show the frailties, comment on the sexuality, point out the chronic illness, use their faith, to be the Hammer?

Part of me wants to say, “okie dokie, here ya go” but…I can’t quite bring myself to…

People are confusing. We mistake being human for being perfect. We see our defects very clearly and our glories not at all. We are blind to what we do and when it is pointed out, automatically dismiss it.

So, what’s all this have to do with writing about how Christians and Pagans interact? Actually, not much…unless you figured out that it’s Aj that I’m talking about. Even then, there’s no direct reference to Paganism or Christianity…and, unless I rewrite this, won’t be…

It’s an odd thing, she likes the posts where I write about her humanity. She enjoys being The Hammer. Those aren’t fun for me. I like the “nice” posts, the ones where I get to talk about the regard I hold her in, the ones with the “hero worship” in them. The truth about her is probably someplace in the middle…

It’s kind of like an old comfortable pair of jeans, her friendship. It fits. It’s soft and comfortable. It has meaning beyond its apparent worth. When it started out it was starchy and stiff…now, even if we talk on text or chat, I hear her voice… I have a memory of a hug on a warm summer day…I know that when I need some thought, she was doing it before I knew I needed it…I didn’t want her as a friend but, as time goes on, I realize she was the friend I NEEDED…and still do.

Broken down into her parts, you might judge a bit and find the whole wanting but, the whole is what matters…and that’s the lesson. If you take people apart, you’ll always find something to dislike. Stop doing that…even to people that confuse you.

Unintended Results…

…The World is a big place…doh…and we each only really occupy a tiny bit of it. Yet, sometimes, we occupy more than we think. We, either by accident or intentionally, impact people in ways we never intended…

You see, there’s a Pagan that makes me a better Christian. To understand her place in my world and to try to understand her faith, not the rituals or beliefs but, the depth, I had to examine mine and my place in it. Look at it like this, we do not share the same group of beliefs but, we share Faith. We both believe in something greater than ourselves and find a sense of “place” within that commonality. *editorial, I had a pastor tell my Dad that they needed to get the humanism out of me. It didn’t work. I merely apply it within a context that include my spiritual beliefs*

Aj didn’t set out to help increase the depth of my faith. She really wasn’t trying to give me any reasons to look more deeply into what I believed. I think that she really wasn’t trying to do anything at all except correct a smart-aleck comment I made the day she told me she was Pagan. I KNOW it wasn’t her intent to “rock my world”. I suspect that if the issue hadn’t forced itself, she would have picked a different time or a different way to let me know. As it stands, what happened was I made a comment and she replied. Then there was the accidental *editorial, I do not believe in accidents. My belief is that there is a purpose for everything* part. I was left with a question, was I convinced beyond a doubt of the “rightness” of my position or was I human and possibly not completely correct? Do I believe every bit of the dogma or allow for the possibility that there are multiple “right” paths?

In the end, the only conclusion I could come to was that my path was correct…for me. That the Divine expresses itself to each in the fashion that is needed by that individual. That our spiritual beliefs are so deeply personal that we, even when we say we share beliefs, really only have our own personal construct.

At the same time, without knowing the details of her rituals, I see the depth of her faith and the way it impacts her life. That encourages me to explore my own. That puts mine at the front of my mind. That, by writing this blog, my beliefs and views are constantly on my mind. By looking for ways to express, to you, what I see, feel, and think I have to look inward. I have to find expressions of my God in my life and, even though she doesn’t see it the same, in her’s. *editorial, I AM NOT making her Christian. I am saying that having different beliefs does not negate that I believe that the God I have works in her life, just as she believes her gods work in mine. Fair enough?*

*editorial, I AM NOT making her Christian. I am saying that having different beliefs does not negate that I believe that the God I have works in her life, just as she believes her gods work in mine. Fair enough?*

We don’t always do what we set out to do. I didn’t seek out Pagan friends to become a nicer Christian. I didn’t really seek out Pagans for any reason. Wasn’t looking and, had I known before I got to know her, would have avoided them…as it is, though, I do know a few Pagans. I have learned to look outside myself. Because of that, when I look inward, I find depth in my faith and room in my heart that I never knew existed…all because  of a smart aleck comment and a response that was kindness and patience.

A soft answer turns away wrath,
    but a harsh word stirs up anger.
The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
    but the mouths of fools pour out folly.” Prov 15: 1-2

How I Sent My Best Friend to Hell and She Liked It…

I’ve written some heavy handed posts about how Christians interact with Pagans lately. At the end, I’ll link to them. For now, I have some observations and thoughts. This time, I’m not as accusatory. I merely want some things said…

If you wonder why I think Aj is a good Christian Pagan, ponder this. My bible says, “greater love hath no man than he who lays down his life for another”. Aj is willing to let me lay her life bare to make the entire world a better place. That is acting on a verse from a book she does not follow. That is an attitude that Christians would do well to emulate. She willingly lets me expose the good and not so good in her to be an example. It’s easy to let someone write nice things about you. It is far harder to trust someone to write knowing they will tell the truth about the imperfect bits and not want to edit or hide them. She doesn’t even have the ability to change a single word I write, no editorial authority on the blog site yet, she just lets me write what I will. That trust is something I cherish and refuse to betray. She is willing to lay down her life, for all to see, to try to help make a change, not knowing if it will ever happen.

*****

I have a very hard time being objective when I write these, meaning the pro-Pagan, posts. I really do try but, it isn’t easy for different reasons. When I was writing the group of LBGT posts, I could, to some degree, detach and become legalistic, citing law and the Constitution. That and the nature of the person, Z, I was usually writing about is that she is more “detached”. *Hope that makes sense* Also, on the LBGT posts, Z and I share the same faith. I’ll explain the difficulty down the line a bit. Briefly, though, there was never an internal conflict within myself about her salvation to be resolved. I dodged it by reverting to legalism,

I lack objectivity on this group because, first, I have to get over, and fail, my sadness and disappointment that Christians bring out because of the way we reach out. I have to get past a desire to lash out with anger and fail, at Christians for letting their conduct not match their words or, worse, actually believing that their actions and prejudices are justified. I had to get over, and sometimes have a very hard time with, my own Vacation Bible School teachings that everyone that does not love Baby Jesus is going to a literal pit of fire and eternal torment. That those people earned their fire and my scorn, derision, and hate. That I was justified in mocking them and pushing them out of “civilized society”.

I had to get over, and sometimes have a very hard time with, my own Vacation Bible School teachings that everyone that does not love Baby Jesus is going to a literal pit of fire and eternal torment. That those people earned their fire and my scorn, derision, and hate. That I was justified in mocking them and pushing them out of “civilized society”. I have to, sometimes, still tell that child within me to sit down and shut up when he tries to rear his ugly head. That battle I can win, every time because of the next reason why I am not objective…

Aj. Beginning and end, it’s Aj. I ENTIRELY lack objectivity when it comes to her, I don’t even pretend to be.  I went through this years ago and am not going to overthink it again but, briefly I found out she was Pagan after I realized she could become my “best friend that is not my wife”, watched that “become” turn into “became” and realized that her soul was not in any danger of “VBS Hell”. Honestly, I don’t want objectivity when it comes to her. I don’t want a sense of detachment. I rarely give people permission to cause me emotional harm, I keep them at arms length. I trust her enough to let her close enough that, if she desired, she could cause that harm. Not many people are allowed “inside” far enough to “hurt my feelings”, I don’t let them that close. Aj could if she ever was willing to. How could I be objective about a person that is that close?

Again, because of Aj, I have some “difficulties”, read grief and anguish, when I write these. She and I agreed I could “use” her as a “hammer” and that she was to be a “tool”. We are talking about a person I love almost as much as I love my wife, if differently. It causes a HUGE amount of heartache to even think the idea that I would “use” her. She’s fine with it, in fact, the word that comes to mind is “glee” when she gets to be the hammer. For me, the semantics of it don’t feel good. It would be easier if it were someone I didn’t care so much for…As it is, I have a hard time removing my own emotional loading from the mental construct that allows us to do what we have set out to do. Does that make sense? I’ll give it this because I am not able to step out of the emotional conflict, it makes me more passionate when I write. I wish that words on a screen could convey that, though. I wish you could feel the heartache and sorrow that I feel when I realize that my faith treats her as less than human and that I feel when I have to use her as an object.

This, too, while we are on this topic. I will use Aj again and again. I will, intentionally, take my best friend, imagine the hurts she has suffered, imagine myself also causing them by using her, become angry at myself for doing that, and use that anger, grief, and hurt to swing my best friend as a hammer at those who would see her as less than I do. I will lose sleep and eat stomach acid. I will hate myself for doing it and I will do it repeatedly. I will use my emotions as fuel to swing harder…and it will hurt more. So what? A little self-inflicted pain is a small price and nothing in comparison to what is given to her. Like I said, I lack objectivity. I am, though, loyal and honorable. If I have some amount of hurt then it means that I am doing it right. If it didn’t hurt me to do it, then it would be time to quit because she would no longer be the friend she is. Does that make sense? *editorial, I am NOT a masochist. I just think she deserves my best and I’ll use myself as a tool just as we would use her*

So, yeah, I am not the tiniest bit objective…except this post writing a commentary about why I write…

*****

At first, I tried to find ways to “Christianize” Paganism. I’ve punted. Let me draw an analogy. Christianity and Paganism are about as alike as a plate of Nachos and a bacon sammich…*grins*…If you just went, “hunh?”, I made my point. They both are tasty and provide nourishment. That’s about all the commonality…except that both fill different needs in my life. One, Christianity, gives me a foundation for the spiritual part of my life, the other, being Pagan, fills the same need for my best friend. That gives them equal weight to me.

*****

I write these for both Christians and Pagans…

I want Christians to see that we have to start acting Christian. In James, it says that if we have faith and do not show it, that faith is dead. The hardest “work” a Christian will ever do is to reach a hand to someone outside their faith. We have to prove our thoughts by our actions. Saying, “God loves everyone but, I hate heathens and fags” is NOT showing love. It, that hate, is proof of faith that is hollow and rotten at its core. That we allow ourselves to feel victimized by someone we actively repress is not our calling. Our calling is to be concerned with our own actions and our relations with our God and to show our faith by our lives. There are over 200 million Christians in this country, we don’t get to claim to be under attack by a group that may number a tenth of that. They are not a threat to us but, we are to them.

I write to Pagans so that y’all may realize that not all Christians hate you. That some of us are willing to reach out, not because we feel that you are “poor damned souls” but, that your faith carries equal weight in your lives and is just as real. So that you can know that, in one heart, at least, there is room for you to be safe and not an enemy but, in the case of some people in my life, treasured and loved just as you are…

I also write because Aj. Yeah, she comes up again. Go figure. These posts, the time, effort and, thought are a gift. They are what I may give to a friend that lives far away. They are an expression of the worth that she has to me and a way to show it. I am not rich or even moderately wealthy. What I have are my thoughts and words. I have the hours I spend writing and thinking about writing. I want to do something for her to return what she does for me. This is what I am able to do.

*****

Anyway, I wanted this post to be a breather from the posts that chastise or cajole. I hope this made some sense and some clarification of where I am coming from and why I even try to do something that I suspect will only be marginally successful. The links to the posts I am thinking of when I write are Aj Is Going to Hell and Why Is a Pagan a Better Christian Than I Am? Those are the posts that use Aj as a hammer and send her to Hell. This oneWhich One Is Pagan? started this current batch. *editorial, the last is not a beat down*

I think that I’m going to take a few days or a couple of weeks without sending Aj to Hell. I need a bit of recovery. There are no parts of “fun” when I write the posts that bash. I resent Christians for giving me reasons to feel forced to tell that “love one another” is not a conditional phrase. Interestingly, Aj doesn’t mind that I send her to Hell. She doesn’t care that she’s the tool used. She’s become used to the hate and, if she’s going to be hated, wants a way to strike back. I, on the other hand, don’t care what you think of me but, want her to be loved…or at least not  cautious of having to reveal herself for fear of repercussion. So, yeah, I sent my best friend to hell…long before I ever knew her…then realized she isn’t going there…

So, yeah, I sent my best friend to hell…long before I ever knew her…then realized she isn’t going there…*sigh* She’ll let me send her there again…and I will…as many times and in as many ways as we, she and I, can figure out how until people realize that’s not where she’s going…Worry for your soul and mine if you will, never for hers.

Why Is a Pagan a Better Christian Than I Am?

Why does it take sending my best friend to Hell to make a point? Why should I have to portray her as a “poor damned soul” to get attention? What part of our Christian Values gives us the right to only reach out to the “lost” or our church? We try to help the poor because we feel like we have a duty to do it. We attempt to “convert” the “lost” out of pity.

*sigh*

Right now, this instant, my attitude is not very “Christian”. I’m not so much angry as disappointed. Christians, not Christ, have let me down. People claim to worship Jesus and do not act like it. He fed the hungry, embraced whores and tax collectors, spoke of loving his fellow man, whipped the money hungry in the temple, and ultimately was misrepresented and was killed for that. He said that we are not to question the condition of someone’s soul unless we want our soul to also be called to the same judgement; which of us could face that and NOT the mercy we want? What part of following the ACTIONS of Jesus is persecution? What part of embracing outcasts and marginalized people is causing them to be pushed farther out? Where is the sense of self-sacrifice that cost Him His life when you are busy spouting your own righteousness at the expense of someone else? He went willingly to his doom while you play the “victim card”. I’m not questioning that you think you believe, I am saying your actions do not show it.

*sigh again*

Do you own a hammer? Right now I feel like a b****rd for using one. I don’t “own” the hammer I am willing to use because, I’m using a human I love. My best friend does not have to write these words but, she is the hammer. I am willingly and knowingly USING the life of a human…and it hurts. It is coldly calculated. I have to point out that she has been abused, threatened, and cast away by people that claim love and Christianity. If they were really what they claimed to be, she and I would never have known each other. Yet, I am taking my best friend in the world, the second person I did not marry and call “best friend”, and treat her as an object used on nails. The good news is that it is harder on the nail than the hammer. I would pound flat those that would dare to stick their heads up and claim virtue. They have no reason to claim it and neither do I. I do not pretend to be better than they because, I am far from perfect. This post and the temper that flares are as much proof as the years of addiction that I survived that I lack perfection…or even coming close.

*exhale*

Look, guys, how we treat people matters. What we do to people that are not like us is what proves our Christianity, not how we act to Christians. I am not an “uber-Christian”. I am a weak, fallible, mortal, sometimes confused, sometimes angry, human. I use another human to drive my temper to write words for her. I feel guilty for doing that because it merely reinforces, if she reads this, that she is cast out. It tells her that not many people outside her community, Pagans I mean, are willing to see her for what she is not what they presume she does.

Let’s talk about her for a bit…She’s a better “Christian” than most I know. She adopted and is raising a daughter, after her kids are adults, because it is the right thing to do. She has a chronic illness and goes to work every day to make a life for her and the young lady. She is constantly physically exhausted and persists. She would give her next breath, and every one after, to her daughter. She helps people, I mean, physically does things to help. She accepts and embraces me even though my faith pushed her away. She honors and reveres her gods with nothing to gain while Christians plead and implore a God they fear. She, by the standards of her faith, “prays without ceasing”. She is kind, tender and, loving. In truth, she can be a stone b***h and highly opinionated but, given her past, that’s fair enough. I don’t know how she goes on. Yet, she persists. She lets herself be a hammer…and I love her enough to use her as one. I wish I were half the man she is a woman. I wish I were as true to my moral code as she is to hers. I wish I were as brave and tough.

*breath*

Here’s the point, when a Pagan, Aj, is a better Christian than most Christians I know, the issue isn’t that Pagan. When we regain the moral standing, quit claiming to be victims, walk our walk, and finally follow Jesus and not our stupid views of others, then we get to push people out…and it’ll still be wrong. I know God loves her. He created her to be what she is. *she’ll disagree and I ENTIRELY respect that different view* When we are able to live the standard she does, then we are all better for it. Then her world, and ours, are more worth living in and, maybe, our souls are not in question. Till then, I sometimes, worry for mine but, never for hers.

I’m trying to calm down. It hurts to use my best friend as a hammer. The word “use” itself feels wrong. The fact that I have to do it to my own faith feels worse. I don’t wish Aj had not been forced out of Christianity becuse I would not have ever known her. I just wish Chistians would act more like that one Pagan.

Aj Is Going to Hell

My best friend is an immoral Pagan witch. She’s rejected Christian Morality. She outright refuses to accept the concepts of Christian repressed sexuality. She makes her own rules and worships her own gods, plural. She has her own rituals and practices divination. Yeah, she’s going to Hell and there’s nothing I can do about it. Not only that, she doesn’t even believe Hell exists…

So, if she’s going there, why do Christians, not all of us but, enough, feel a need to persecute her during this life. I mean, if you believe someone is going to Eternal Damnation, isn’t that enough? You think the condition of her soul means you have the right to be a jerk to one of God’s Creations, even if you think that she’s an “offense against God” and that, when He created her he made a mistake. That somehow, you’re showing her what True Christian Values are by letting her know you think she has no value? That God will praise you for showing His love to her by treating her like she has no worth?

This is what you have taught her by your examples… “I wish for true religious freedom every day but I know that as long as it is a christian based society there never will be…I have learned to walk quietly so that I am not persecuted for my belief. I do not hide who I am or deny my personal truths.” You have taught that you only believe in religious freedom for yourself. You have taught that she WILL be persecuted for her belief. You have taught her this, “If you are such a damn good christian then follow your own commandments and guidelines. Love your neighbor, do not judge and do unto others as you would have done unto you” and that you will not. You have taught her that my “heresy” in treating her as a human, a loved and cherished human that happens to not be Christian, is vanishingly rare among Christians.

You realize that you failed? If you value the souls of unbelievers, then there is one that you will never be able to save because YOU have driven it away. Your actions. Your failure to show, by the example you set, that your path is worth emulating, means that her soul is beyond reach. Once, you might have had a chance, now it is too late for her… The question does remain, what will you do now? How will you reach out to the next person you would send to Hell? What love will you reach out with? Will you invite them into the warmth of your home and life? Will you teach them, without words, of the depth of your faith? By the love for them you express, will you show them that their souls have worth and their lives matter or will you reject them and send another worthless Pagan to Hell? Will you cause them to find community away from yours and take away any chance you might have had to “save” them? What will you do to the next chance you have?

*****

My best friend is a Pagan. I am not. This is what I believe. I believe that God is able to do anything. I believe He shows himself in the form He best thinks will be received.  I believe that, to Christians, He appeared in a form we can accept. I believe that it is possible that he presents Himself to others in a way that they might accept.

I am not trying to “Christianize” Pagans or Aj. I know she doesn’t even allow for the Christian Hell to exist. I know that she will never be a Christian and yet, I also don’t think she’s going to Hell. Her soul may be a bit banged up around the edges but, the core of it is as solid as any I know. That soul, that person that lights candles for me, that shows concern for my life and my fears, has nothing to worry about. That human, that soul that animates the shell that lives on this earth, is valuable to me. I believe that soul will not go to Hell just because she’s not Christian.

 

Who Knows? You Guys Suggest Something. If I Like It, I’ll Write It…

I have three days off and no clue what to type…I liked my last one “note to self” but, it was written over several days with Z’s input. I want to type something because I’ve learned I like to write. I think I’m a bit of a narcissist…

I really have zero idea. I don’t want to write about politics. I’ve got friends all over the political map and my views don’t really fit any party. My views are my own. *grins* I make a decision, not based on party or ideology, but on my own internal compass…

I don’t want to write about what I think of the government or environmental issues because there are enough people writing about those. Same with race issues.

I’d write a “Z Post” but, for now, there’s nothing to say that doesn’t seem like a repeat. I’d tell the people I’m surrounded with that I love them but, I’ve done it so many times they should know it…Just to make sure…Dear People that love me, I love you, too. You are an unearned gift and have my gratitude in this life and the next…

Write about my hobbies? Well I cook stuff made up from ideas I get at work, I’m a butcher, and I write a blog and I “do nice things for my wife”…That covers those…

My addiction and my past? Nope, not today, no context for it…

Same as usual? Human dignity and LBGT Rights? Not today. Today, I’m going to just think that people are civil and treat each other with respect. Today, when I think about the people I love, I’m not going to put them into the box this blog seems to have to put them in. Today, I’m going to think about the whole of them and that I want them to have all the blessings in the world…and for some nice Lady to wander across Z’s path *grins*…

So, you guys come up with something. Leave me a note under the link on my Facebook wall. Drop a comment here. Send a carrier pigeon or smoke signals. Let me know what you think. If it isn’t politics, I’ll see what I can do. If you have a different perspective I might write about my “usual”, I’ll look into that, too. *grins*

Strong Marriages and Love

You realize you guys have made me a better husband. I mean, Kelly, you know my past.You know how much I balk at the “love” stuff because I have a hard time believing it about myself. Sweety was my first love. Aj came along and kept pounding into my head that I have worth. I started to believe it. Then I started writing and realized that I couldn’t write about love and it’s worth without believing it further. As it progressed I realized that the more I said “I love Z to pieces” the more I realized MY capacity for it and that if I could do that, I HAD to have worth. Somewhere in the middle, Z stayed the focus but, the writing, although it named her, became more inclusive of specific people I know.
7:05pm
Tracking so far?
Miller Davidge III
7:08pm
Anyway, the more it spread, the better I got at it. It makes me a better husband because the more I use it, the stronger it gets for HER. Make sense? Anyway, every time you guys give me a reason for the “warm fuzzies” either because I write to you or you say nice stuff to me or because of the trust you’ve shared with me or any of the other reasons I love you guys for being yourselves, it gives me more love to give to Sweety. That and by being around strong married couples I become a better husband.

*****

This was the body of a conversation I had with Kelly. She said it should be a blog post. So, this is it…

Now for some thoughts…I think about marriage a lot. I married late, late 40’s, for the first time. Falling in love and getting married was something I thought happened to other people, never to me. As a result, being the best possible husband is important to me. I try to associate with people and couples that have the same values. That they don’t take their partner for granted or, if they’re single, have the qualities, capacity for love, honesty, and loyalty that I want around me. Because I seem to like women better than men as friends, those couples tend to be Lesbian couples and not straight. Because Z is a girl that likes girls, I am predisposed toward liking them as friends. It is easy for me to see in them the things I want in my marriage.

I assume, and could be wrong, Kelly may correct me, that because their relationship was stigmatized they tend to have an “us against the world” outlook and a greater appreciation for the gift they have in their partner. *editorial, I could be completely incorrect. For once, I didn’t ask*

Anyway, the point of this post is this… Strong couples make strong marriages. The words “gay marriage” no longer apply. Marriages are marriages. Period. Being around strong marriages strengthens mine. Watching how couples interact teaches me. It doesn’t matter to me how many wives or husbands there are as long as it equals a loving couple. I can learn from any of them.

*****

I also told Kelly I’d write it as long as I could put this on it…

“This post is for Kelly& Shelby, Denise & Beth, Z and all the others that have taught me by their example.” The best teachers are the ones that teach, not with words, but with their lives…

My Shrimp Recipe…

Okie dokie, so, I have an odd hobby. It’s “doing nice things for loved ones”. Now that Marriage Equality is the law, I’m kind of at a loss. You see, one of the best parts of the last year and a half has been writing for Z. You see, I seem to love her to bits and now, I have to find a different way to say it. For what it’s worth, it feels good to be nice to people you care about. I’m glad the blog is no longer needed. I really am. I just don’t know where to go next. Being a part of a team with someone i admire has been great. Now, I gotta get creative with the things I can do. She lives a real thousand miles away, cooking dinner and inviting her over is out. *grins* What next? *editorial, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to think of her and not have an “I’m so happy for you” moment as soon as she comes to mind. I’m calm but, the June 26 Ruling is a great thing and will be for a bunch of years*

*****

I said to a follower I’d post a “cupcake” recipe when the ruling was done. I don’t bake so, here’s how I cook shrimp…

Get a couple or three lbs of shrimp. Peel them. In a skillet, put some, about a stick, butter cubes. Slice 3 lemons thin and layer them on. Add a big amount of minced garlic, ’bout a tablespoon. Layer the shrimp on next. Sprinkle the shrimps with some dried parsley. I use a couple or four tablespoons. Pour around a cup of white wine over it all. Heat on the stove top untill it foams all over the shrimp. Turn it off, cover, and leave on the warm burner for 10ish minutes. Serve it as a sammich, or over pasta or in a bowl with bread for the “dippy juice”.

There ya go, a recipe to celebrate. *grins*

*****

Anyway, Z, if you read this, it has been about you. I’m looking for the next reason to say nice things. I’m really calm. I promise not to engage the trolls. The furor will die down and normal…as normal as things ever get…will happen.

Oh yeah, one other thing. I wanted an excuse to share the image. *grins* Thanks to Shane Turner Art for letting me use it.

A Very Long Way to Get to “I Love You”

I was reading a year old post. It seems that some things haven’t changed. I mean, the things that bounce around in my head don’t…

A year ago I wrote, “She is going to be my priority when I write.” about Z. The only difference is that now I write, “I’m doing this for Z.”

A year ago I wrote, “I worry that by reminding Z that the “haters” exist and that, … it brings her down.” I still do.

A year ago I wrote, “This blog would not exist without Z. She deserves credit. She earned it. So, if you happen to read these, think about Z. These might be my words but, they wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for her.” *grins*  Yesterday, “For what it’s worth, if it weren’t for Z coming out to me, I’d have never written the blog. I might have done a few posts around the subject but, not this many and not this much effort.” Go figure…

*****

I’ve never hid that I’m an ex-addict. That comes with some baggage. Some of that is that, even though I’m 9 years and change clean, I wasn’t from my mid-teens through early forties. That means I am having to learn some emotional lessons that I should have learned in my teens and early twenties. For example, I need to have some idea where relationships stand.

For example, I need to have some idea where relationships stand. To digress…you, Readers, know about Z. Well, when I started, this was also about Religious Freedom. The reason being that Aj, my “best friend that is not my wife”, is Pagan. The main focuses were to be LBGT Rights for Z, Religious Freedom for Aj, and a few side trips into stuff about me. It became more focussed on Z because Marriage Equality is coming to a head… So, just because it morphed into a blog about Z, it didn’t take away from Aj. Tracking so far?

Here’s the confusion and my “baggage”…In my confused and scrambled up brain, I have to try to keep people in their boxes and order. I mean, wife first, (fill in the blank) second, (fill in the blank) third, etc. Still along with me? So, with Aj in second, where did Z fit? I mean, I’ve been writing about her, thousands of words and a couple hundred posts, for over a year. That and we talk almost every day. I say her name to God every time I go to sleep. That’s a huge amount of emotional energy. I am learning emotional stuff as I go, right? So, my tiny brain was getting rattled and stressed because of that desire to prioritize. Baggage, right? I didn’t want to hurt Aj’s feelings by saying I love Z, too. Didn’t want to hurt Z by saying she’s less than Aj.  That’s the lesson. I can love someone. I can love an other someone. I love my wife. *editorial, MY WIFE is and will always be FIRST. She’s the only romantic love in my life and the only one I desire. Forever. Period.*…

Anyway, I learned, yesterday, to my great relief, after much agony and confusion and stress, that I didn’t have to take away from either Aj or Z. They can be tied. I can love Bacon and Rib-eye at the same time, even if they’re very different. *grins* To digress…again…to me, because of the baggage, food is security. Having enough to eat was not always something that occurred in my past. Thus the analogy…So, I don’t have to make someone I love second to someone else I love. Funny thing is, I told them and they were Aj, “Why would you ever have to choose?” and Z, “I told him the same thing yesterday,Aj. He doesn’t have to pick. Feels like how I feel about my kids. I love them all. I have no favorite.” Did I say I’m a bit dense? The best part is they know and love each other. *editorial, I really really stress hurting the feelings of the three women in this section*

*deep breath* I am un-stressed. Is that a word? Poor Z took the brunt of my confusion and over-thinking. I’d agonize and ramble at her trying to figure out where she was supposed to be. I’d try to talk around and work it through. I’d question MY motivation and who I wanted her to be and what place she belonged in. Ugh for her. I’d have smacked me. At least Aj didn’t have to put up with the nonsense, read bulls**t, that I subjected Z to. Lucky her. *grins* Sorry, Z.

I’m sure, very positively sure, there’s more crap buried in my skull that’ll come out in time. More years un-sober than sober leaves a big pile of manure to shovel out…

*****

That last part is a good lead in to this…

This blog has been a year and a half long “love letter”. It has been about my love of my wife. It has been about how it’s possible to un-romantically love other people. It has been about my love of my faith and how it is possible for someone else’s love of their faith to strengthen mine. I’ve become a better Christian by knowing and loving a Pagan, Aj. It has been about how what society thinks of love has no effect on what love actually is. I love a woman. I watch Z, a “girl that likes girls” and KNOW that what gender she loves doesn’t amount to the tiniest difference. Gender doesn’t matter when it comes to love.

As sappy as it sounds, and yeah, I’ve written this, or something like it before, love is love. Being Pagan doesn’t change the love that one’s faith brings. Being gay doesn’t change the longing of the heart. It is neither a matter of quality or quantity. Nothing that either of them will ever do will make what I have inside my heart and soul worth less. Their paths and ways may be different than mine but, that’s all, just different.

Never let anyone convince you differently. Never believe the lie that says that “different is less”.

*****

Yeah, I’m sure if I read back, I could find a post that’s similar to this one. I suppose that’s a good thing. It means that, for all my confusion and un-confusion, some views have remained fixed. It means that it’s ok to grow and it’s ok to stress out of care. It also means I haven’t changed how I feel or think. I still have my priorities straight. It also means I won’t have to decide who is more important. Rib-eye or Bacon? Bacon or Rib-eye? How ’bout a can of Dr Pepper and both? *grins* *inside joke, Aj and Z’ll get it and they’re the ones that matter* *grins again*

Hey guys, thanks for putting up with me and loving me back…