fear

Comfort

The closest intimacy isn’t physical, it’s mental…

I had some random bits rattling around in my head and, since I woke up far too early and haven’t written one of these in some time, decided to let them out…

Hiding your insecurities doesn’t show any self-confidence, it shows the lack. You don’t have to share them with everyone but, someone should know…

I have a friend. It’s an odd sort of friendship. Most start from the outside in. They start with the surface stuff like “Wow, nice Crocs, I love mine, how about you?” and, after some years, gets to “I was having nightmares last night reliving (fill in the blank ugly life event)”. Ours started in the middle and are working our way out. I don’t recommend that as a way to find friends but, it does let you rapidly get there. *grins*

Related to the previous, if you’re going to start there, be prepared to keep that person close forever because you just gave them lots of “permission”. You told them that they could hurt you by revealing your secrets. You told them that they could judge you based on your past. You also told them that you believe in them meaning, you expect them to neither reveal nor judge you.

The friend and I have an agreement. It is that while most friendships have some conditions they’re rarely codified, we did ours. We have two rules. First, “no hiding” and second “trust”. Those rules take “offense” off the table. Neither of us is allowed to take offense at what the other says, within broad reason, some words would hurt, but, not at being told the truth. It also means that we have blanket permission to speak into the other life…

Other odd thought about her. No one, well maybe a couple of people, even know we’re friends. Her friends, out there, don’t even know I exist…I hope. Not that I’m hiding her or fear being hidden. It’s just that there’s no need for others to know…

There’s a “game” she tries. We call it “dare”. She tries to find things to shock me and push me away. I let her. She CAN startle me. Does it frequently but, I don’t easily scare. I am a bit flattered that she tries, that means she cares enough to want me to stay no matter what she throws at me. I encourage her to keep trying because, the more I pass, the less she fears…and the dares give me insight into what drives her…

Look, not everyone is going to be close. Not everyone should but, everyone NEEDS some few people to be unguarded around. Some person that you trust with the “flat sides” of your personality and past. I have a couple. I still don’t know why she decided on me. I asked and I’m not sure she really knows why she decided to reach out to me. I have no clue, after much “wailing and gnashing of teeth”, why I accepted her trust and returned it. After much thought, I still don’t know…and decided the reasons aren’t important. What does matter is that she exists in my world and, if her words can be taken at  face value, that I am in hers. That’s enough. She’s my friend and I want, every time, what’s best for her. That’s a comfortable place for me…and I’m rarely comfortable with friends.

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When Heroes Become Villains

 

There’s a place some go. A place I’ve gone, and it’s a place of nightmares. Where you can’t trust the person to wake you up. What if the person who wakes you up from the dreams of monsters, turns out to be the monster themself?

You’ve seen the picture of innocence. Of child-like faith. Not just in God, or blue skies, but in family. Your grandfather is this smelly old guy who teaches you how to play an instrument and makes funny jokes. Your uncle is the greatest person in the world. Your other grandpa comes around and fixes what needs fixed. He throws you in the air and plays games. They are heroes. Superheroes who do no wrong.

And then one person changes that. Family has no meaning. The veil of innocence is gone and you see threats. If this one person, who swore to protect me, is capable of this, then what of them? And you start to see secrets. And secrets are scary. Because secrets live in the dark, and there are always more where those came from.

People get angry when you’re too frightened to be alone with them. As much as you’d love to say you trust them, you can’t, because you know they are just as capable of untold horrors. Family means nothing. “Love” loses it’s touch.

I don’t know if it’s something that can be changed. I’m certain I’m missing out on knowing some great people.  I wish I could trust, especially in family, and trust in “love.”

What I want in life is to fix the world, even if I can’t fix me. I want to see a few people hurt less because of something I know. Because of something I can say, or because of something I can do.

I don’t pray well. Its a thing forgotten often until I break and start shouting blubbering curses to the man upstairs. But when I do, I pray my daughter keeps her heroes. I pray this for every child. I pray this for the child I was.

I hope at some point I can see past the villains, and start seeing the heroes in those I should. Hope that I will see beyond possibilities and potential for hurt. Hope I can restore to some degree that faith in humanity, and maybe restore it in someone else too.

*****

If you’ve read my posts over the past month or two, you might have gathered that there’s a specific person in my mind when I write. If you read M’Lady and Her Jester you will know the background. This post is where she is in her words. She asked me to post this. I left it unedited. She said I could comment…

M’Lady,
Perhaps you will never quite learn to trust. *sigh* The cynical old b****rd in me says trusting “humanity” is for suckers. Humanity will always let you down but, there are rare humans that you can trust…and they will sometimes let you down, too. You are trying, though. You are searching for a way to find what was stolen from you. You are willing to face your fears. You are willing to accept that not every person is a person that hurt you. That you are willing, in spite of your fears and your past, gives me hope that you will succeed. It will take time. It will be hard.
M’Lady, you reached out to me. You took my trust and, however far from you, my love. You tried to run from those and, when it came to accept or reject, choose to accept, no matter how those scared you. I know you are not confident that you will ever be “healed” but, for now, on this part of our path, trust my confidence in you. There will be days, in some distant future, where fear will come back but, by then, you will know it for what it is and it won’t harm you.

I know it isn’t much but, here’s the hand of a friend to walk your path with you. *offers hand*

With love,
M’Lady’s Jester

M’Lady and Her Jester

I have something to write. I don’t know where or how to begin. Do I begin at her beginning, her middle, or now?

I have a friend that I love. I think of her by many names, the one that fits here is M’Lady and I am her Jester. As such, I am allowed to speak the truth. The lowliest member of the court may be the most honest…this is the now…

In the middle, she was married to a boy that feared her. He feared her mind. He feared his own weakness in the face of her strength…and he made her pay for his fear and weakness by raping her in the guise of marriage. He inflicted pain and humiliation on her and convinced her that she was to blame. He resented her past and her present. He told her that if she didn’t like what he was doing, he could bring another man to do it to her, He called it love and didn’t realize that it was hate. He convinced her to love her rapist…and she believed his lies and abuse. He taught her to lie to avoid worse pain. She thought she had somehow earned his actions and deserved them…

In her beginning, she thought she was a “badass”. She became promiscuous at an early age. Too young, some would say. Her Jester believes her life is HER’S and no one’s to judge save for her.  She paid, through the years by being bullied and shamed. Her reaction was, “if y’all think that’s bad, check this out”…and paid with more scorn and derision, “slut shaming”. To her credit, M’Lady would do it over the same way, sparing herself none of the pain that was to come because she has grown and learned through it.

…and now for the words of the Jester…

M’Lady, you did no wrong. Your youth and enjoyment of sex gave no cause for what happened later.

Your middle is not excused by any prior action of yours. There is no excuse that can be made, no justification given for a rapist. No amount of fear, shaming, or resentment of you excuses coercion or forcible rape. That you survived and escaped is a testament to your strength. That you became the person your Jester knows and loyally serves proves that strength. That you kept the light in your eyes for the Jester to find, makes your rapist even weaker because, no matter how he tried, he could not dim them.

In your present, M’Lady, you have so recently escaped the middle so listen to the words of the Jester. You did no wrong. You are not to blame, not then and not now. There should be no shame in you for being the person you are. If you were the person you came to believe, your Jester would not be here. That society and your rapist would use your past to excuse your middle speaks of them, not you…

M’Lady, trust the words of your Jester. You are worth being loved. You are one of the finest human beings I have ever known. You have your scars, we all do. You have your weaknesses and bits of inner darkness, only the weak fear them in others and refuse to believe their own. Your innocence, after all you have been through, gives your Jester cause for hope and proves his affection and love are not misplaced. That you would allow these words to be written proves that you will survive stronger than before.

*****

Slut Shaming is never an excuse. What she does with her body is her choice. Who she sleeps with and when she chooses to is no reason to excuse rape. It never was. It never will be. If you can not accept that there is ZERO excuse for rape or coercion, then it isn’t her that deserves shame, it is you.

I am in no way by the phrasing making light of the subject. It is FAR too close to home. The only way for me to touch this topic, rape within the confines of marriage and slut shaming, is to write in the third person and as the Jester. If I were to write the words in my heart, the hatred I have for the ex, I suspect it would be a crime or perceived as a threat and that is not intended as she will not allow that. There are very few humans in the world I love, perhaps 5 not related by blood, M’Lady is one.

Why Does this Even Need to Be Said…or, If You Think Rape Is a Good Idea, F**k You

I’m out of patience.

That dirtbag, Brock Allen Turner, was the final straw. His father and the judge that excused him was just the icing on the cake.

There is NO excuse for rape. Not for emotional coercion that makes her consent when she doesn’t want to. No excuse for misunderstanding intent. No excuse for “boys will be boys”. No excuse criminal defense lawyers slandering the victim to defend the rapist.

There is not a deep enough Pit in the Christian Hell I believe exists or whatever Karmic Revenge that others believe.

She did not deserve it. She wasn’t “a little action”. She didn’t dress like she was asking for it. Alcohol does not excuse it.

If she didn’t SPECIFICALLY invite you, keep your fucking hands off of her. Period. If she changes her mind AFTER she says “yes”, then you STOP. Is that concept hard to grasp? If it is, I’m sorry to share the same air with you because the level of stupidity and privilege you display might be contagious.

It isn’t a matter of “what if she was a (fill in the blank) relation?” That is not a good enough reason to be offended. It is, her body belongs to HER. It DOES NOT belong to you. She doesn’t exist for your sick games or power trips.

Yes, truth be told, people I love have been hurt by rape, either actual physical rape or emotional coercion that is EXACTLY the same thing. Yes, I am proud of them for surviving. Yes, it hurts me to see them harmed. No, they are not “damaged goods”. In fact, if I weren’t married, either of the two would make a fine wife…in fact, one is a “fine wife” and I love watching that couple interact; the other is merely too young and I am married but, she will be a partner in life that is more worthy than whoever she winds up with.

To reiterate, if you think rape is a good idea, if you make excuses for rape, if you condone in any manner the idea that there MIGHT be some extenuating circumstance, you belong in the same Pit of Hell I hope EVERY SINGLE RAPIST ends up in. You are no better than them. I wish there was a way to imprison those who make excuses for rape and rapists. The fathers that failed to hammer home that basic lesson in humanity, that rape is never acceptable or a right, should have never been allowed to breed.

To the Ladies I mentioned. I do not know how you go on without being filled with hate and rage. I admire you both. You have kept your kindness and gentleness. Your bravery has me in awe of you. I love you both dearly.

Stupidly Misinformed People P**s Me Off

Some days I think there’s no hope for humanity. I think we are so willfully misinformed or deliberately obtuse that we don’t deserve to survive as a species…

I’m really at the point where I wish that people would make an attempt to understand, ask questions, or do the most rudimentary fact checking before they give an opinion. Just because someone authoritatively states something on the internet doesn’t make it true.

I have a friend that has a rare cancer, BRCAI. She’s a 12-year survivor of it. The other day she shared a blog that some bonehead wrote talking about how the medical profession was trying to kill their patients and make the cancer worse so that they may gain income and profit from the pain and death of their patients. I don’t know what that misinformed idiot’s motivation is. I don’t know what life events made him so anti-medicine. I have no clue why he decided why there was a conspiracy to ruin lives or why he wants to be so rabidly misinformed…

I do know that he’s dangerous. Let’s suppose, for example, that 13 years ago she had believed his quackery. I wouldn’t know her because she’d be dead. If she’d grasped at his lifeline, there wouldn’t be any need for me to write this. Think about that. When we allow our fears and bias to be presented as fact and present it to people willing to succumb to those same fears and biases, we perpetuate the danger and the lie. He’d have been just as culpable in her demise as she would have been for believing him. Thankfully, she had the sense to not fall into the despair and lack of knowledge that his ilk present as truth.

Look, this isn’t intended to be an anti-alternative medicine rant. It is to make a point. Fear of the unknown is dangerous. There’s a cure for it, though. Research the subject. Gather ALL the information on a topic, not just that which confirms your fear. Don’t merely rely on one opinion that says, “this (fill in the blank) is bad” but, look at all the information available. Ask people with views that are different than yours how they came to them. Look at peer reviewed studies. Fact check and then check the source you used to check the check. Never take at face value something that exactly fits your bias and be honest enough with yourself to admit the bias. *editorial, NOT easy*

One or two last parting thoughts…

First, you may apply the same standard to Transgender Bathroom-gate and the fears and misinformations surrounding it…or anything else that engage your emotions and shut off your brain…

Second, I’m glad my friend didn’t listen to the quacks. I haven’t known her for long but, she’s becoming a person that I realize is one of those the world needs more of. She’s fearless and kind. So, idiot quacks that would have put her in her grave piss me the fuck off…

Yeah, I Took Shots at EVERYONE…

Bits of thoughts…

I am NOT open-minded. In my world, people, as differentiated from “humanity” fall into 3 groups, people I like, people I dislike, and people that will be one or the other of the first two. Humanity is different, because of the people I like, I write about humans being treated with decency and compassion. I write FOR the people I like and love, to humans, about humanity and faith…

To the young lady parked next to me. Yeah, I saw the dyed pink hair and haircut shorter than mine. Yeah, I saw the rainbow flag on your rear deck. Yep, I looked to see what you looked like because I was curious. I “people watch”. Perhaps I’m reading more into the look you gave me in return but, you have no clue that I write a blog defending your right to live your life as you please so, perhaps instead of seeing a middle-aged guy driving a black Town Car, you might consider that not everyone that looks like me sees someone that looks like you as anything other than a fellow traveler on this rock, not the enemy…

I’m not sure that people really understand the word “conservative” *grins* I see a bunch of alleged “conservatives” wanting to get up in arms over the “bathroom issue”. They seem to think that “traditional conservative values” means that the Constitution was unclear when it used the word “citizens” and not “straight, white, male, Republican, Christian” in it. The Constitution uses that word several times for example here, “The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states.” So if y’all all’s grasp of grammar is so poor as to misunderstand that one word, it comes as no surprise that bigger concepts like “equality” and “liberty” are beyond your grasp. Perhaps you should stick to simpler things like “fear” and “hate” as in this example, “Would y’all  misogynistic, homophobic, racist, semi-literate, cretins with delusions of grandeur please shut up?” *editorial, I am NOT a self-labeled Liberal. For most of my life, I have thought of myself as “conservative”. Now, that ideology has been hijacked by hate and fear so, I am of no political party and just look at the issues*…

While I’m at it… The nice thing about being me is that I have very few illusions about myself. I know my weaknesses and strengths. I know the bits of myself to be scared of and the places I trust. *there is a point to this* Guys that abuse women have no such confidence in themselves. All they have is weakness and the only way they are able to feel power is by making someone else less, sort of like those people in the last paragraph. The difference is that the people up there lash out at a group and the guys that abuse lash out at individuals. Either way, it is sadly pathetic when the only way you are able to feel any strength is to make someone else powerless…

And another thing…My Christianity doesn’t give me a lock on morality. When I first started using drugs, I owned and read a Bible and called myself Christian. If all it took was to claim a faith as the key, there would be no pedophile priests, spousal abusers in churches, or scammer t.v. evangelists. Just because you’re claiming “God Hates Fags” doesn’t make it so. If you actually read the words Jesus said, “love your neighbor as you love yourself” and claim that “God hates…” I suspect what you really mean is “I hate myself so, I’ll lash out at you…” Morality is a condition of your soul. It is entirely possible to be a transgender, Pagan, Lesbian and be moral. Just as it is possible to be a cishet, male, Christian and be a pedophile. It is the SOUL that matters, not the trappings around it…

Look, guys, we have to be realistic. We are not going to agree with everyone. We are not going to like everyone. There’s no way we’ll ever understand everyone but, we have to live together on this rock…at least to the day of our demise…so, it’s far easier on ourselves, and the rest of the world, if we spend less time hating and fearing what we don’t understand. There are a bunch of things to fear. I fear that a moment of weakness could bring relapse. I fear finding a scorpion in my shoe…I don’t have time to fear others because their lives are not inside my house or my head.

Predatory people happen. They are criminals. If I spend my life worrying that it will be disrupted by a criminal, I spend very little time LIVING my own and they win. If I spend my time making myself feel stronger by surrounding myself with cowards, how strong am I really? I’d rather be built up by the strength and courage of the people I know than to have sunk to the level of the fear mongers.

That’s it, in the end, do we have the strength to realize that “different” is not the same as “evil” or “loathsome”? Or do we stay with the comfort of our own xenophobic beliefs and forget Genesis 3:19?

By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”

The Great Equalizer comes for all of us one day…

Women…

Usually, I write right after I wake up. That’s when my brain remembers what it wants to say and it hasn’t gotten distracted by being engaged with thinking. Today isn’t usually…so, maybe this goes into the Great Draft Pile in the Sky…or I decide to eff it and post the damn thing…*editorial, it’s already going downhill because I’m very rarely profane here. “Not here” my favorite word starts with an eff…*

…I have never been a person that engaged in casual sex. It has, every time, been with a person that I thought I could see the potential for “forever” with. I have encouraged others to “get laid” but, just not me. *I don’t mean to get into my own sexuality other than that bit because it applies to the train of thought*

I wouldn’t cheat on my wife if it was offered. Couldn’t. Having said that, the people I seem to like and talk to most are women. Perhaps, because sex has never been casual, it’s because, unlike most cishet males, women have never been “sex objects” to me. Yes, I am able to, and do, see an attractive woman as an attractive woman but, not as an “it” for me to imagine “between the sheets”. Hope this is making sense.

I suppose the reason I like women as people to talk is because, it seems to me, that there is less pretense in their core thinking. The thought, as I’m pondering, is that like my favorite poet, Kipling, alluded to is that the cost of the continuation of the species to y’all leaves very little room for self-delusion. When the upside is surviving childbirth and the downside is fatal, the cost is far greater than what the male has invested in the process…

Anyway…

Yeah, the train of thought drifted away…

Oh yeah, I think that the reason men treat y’all, women, like objects is that we realize that we are scared and in awe of y’all. Truthfully, I’m not sure I could handle the physical and emotional investment that procreation, not sex, involves for y’all all. It’s easier to demean and diminish what we fear than it is to acknowledge it, the fear I mean…

Why do we, men, fear y’all? Is it that childbirth/pregnancy/motherhood scares us? Is it that we realize that, physically, we have done more wrongs to women than y’all have done to us? Is it, again to paraphrase Kipling, that we realize that y’all HAVE to be fearless and far more ruthless than we do? Is it that, at the bottom of things, we wish to possess that which we have no right to own and realizing our weakness, fear our own weakness?

Look y’all, I have male acquaintances and one guy I think of as a close friend but, when I meet someone and think “this person MIGHT be someone I would like to trust as a friend”, invariably she’s a woman. I expect to be lied to by a guy. I expect that they will be a braggart, shallow, and craven. I expect that they will be little substance and all surface. Most times I’m correct.Sure, women like to dress and maintain their appearance but, women dress for themselves, not for others. Men dress to brag. That, in of itself, speaks volumes…

This was such a well-formed thought when I was thinking it…

Perhaps just to end the thought…

I don’t know why there’s even a human race left. I don’t know why women have let us men survive. We haven’t earned it. Our treatment of the other 49.6% of the world has really proved that our only truly useful function is as sperm donors…guys, we need to get over ourselves…

*****

My attitude isn’t quite as harsh as this comes across. I do, however, believe that we, men, need to change our attitudes toward those that gave birth to us.

*****

One parting thought. This is what I’ve paraphrased throughout this…

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

The Female of the Species

WHEN the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,
He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside.
But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

When Nag the basking cobra hears the careless foot of man,
He will sometimes wriggle sideways and avoid it if he can.
But his mate makes no such motion where she camps beside the trail.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

When the early Jesuit fathers preached to Hurons and Choctaws,
They prayed to be delivered from the vengeance of the squaws.
‘Twas the women, not the warriors, turned those stark enthusiasts pale.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

Man’s timid heart is bursting with the things he must not say,
For the Woman that God gave him isn’t his to give away;
But when hunter meets with husbands, each confirms the other’s tale—
The female of the species is more deadly than the male.

Man, a bear in most relations—worm and savage otherwise,—
Man propounds negotiations, Man accepts the compromise.
Very rarely will he squarely push the logic of a fact
To its ultimate conclusion in unmitigated act.

Fear, or foolishness, impels him, ere he lay the wicked low,
To concede some form of trial even to his fiercest foe.
Mirth obscene diverts his anger—Doubt and Pity oft perplex
Him in dealing with an issue—to the scandal of The Sex!

But the Woman that God gave him, every fibre of her frame
Proves her launched for one sole issue, armed and engined for the same;
And to serve that single issue, lest the generations fail,
The female of the species must be deadlier than the male.

She who faces Death by torture for each life beneath her breast
May not deal in doubt or pity—must not swerve for fact or jest.
These be purely male diversions—not in these her honour dwells—
She the Other Law we live by, is that Law and nothing else.

She can bring no more to living than the powers that make her great
As the Mother of the Infant and the Mistress of the Mate.
And when Babe and Man are lacking and she strides unclaimed to claim
Her right as femme (and baron), her equipment is the same.

She is wedded to convictions—in default of grosser ties;
Her contentions are her children, Heaven help him who denies!—
He will meet no suave discussion, but the instant, white-hot, wild,
Wakened female of the species warring as for spouse and child.

Unprovoked and awful charges—even so the she-bear fights,
Speech that drips, corrodes, and poisons—even so the cobra bites,
Scientific vivisection of one nerve till it is raw
And the victim writhes in anguish—like the Jesuit with the squaw!

So it comes that Man, the coward, when he gathers to confer
With his fellow-braves in council, dare not leave a place for her
Where, at war with Life and Conscience, he uplifts his erring hands
To some God of Abstract Justice—which no woman understands.

And Man knows it! Knows, moreover, that the Woman that God gave him
Must command but may not govern—shall enthral but not enslave him.
And She knows, because She warns him, and Her instincts never fail,
That the Female of Her Species is more deadly than the Male.

Jesus Loves Me…

I sat in the pew and wondered…I suspect my heresy started long before I think it did…

I didn’t ask the questions I thought. I didn’t ask what happened in the years between Jesus and now. I didn’t read the history of the religious wars and strife. I saw movies about the Knights, Crusades, Musketeers, and I accepted that they were right…but, I still wondered…

I thought, “what if God wants people that way”.  I sang, “Jesus loves the little children…” and “Jesus loves me, this I know…” and wondered why adults seem to be left out. Why do we hate people that believe differently? We called the Jews “Jesus killers” and burned Witches…because that was the “right” thing to do. What if God loved them, too?

What if God loved them, too?

Why do we fear others? Why do we include children and leave out adults?  There is a Witch I know that told me this…

“The other night before going to bed my phone rang. From a number I did not recognize came a voice asking if they could purchase a spell. I was dumbfounded. Nowhere on any of my pages have I said that I do that, but it meant that someone had assumed that. I politely told them no and when they asked if I knew someone who did I referred them to any of the New Age shops in the city. Afterwards, my reaction was fear. Fear that someone where my husband works would have seen something that would make his work life hard or cause him to be fired (yes, I know that is illegal, but so is ageism, and sexism, and several other isms. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.) Or that someone would figure out where I live and do things to bring attention to my neighbors about a witch living in their neighborhood. I would like to think that my fear is unfounded and irrational, but we see on Pagan sites where people have lost their children in custody battles, their children bullied at school, not to mention the gossip and shunning that happens when people find out that you are not Christian…”

Why do we treat her faith any differently than we want out own treated? What happened to the love we were taught when we were young? I know this lady. She is not anti-Christian. She’s merely NOT Christian. She’s not my enemy or Jesus’. If I believe that He loves me, why would I believe he hates her and I have an excuse to treat her as hated? It didn’t say that He exclusively loved Christians, and His words, in the Bible, give no indication that he does. Those thoughts and attitudes came later and were made up by men…

*****

It IS NOT the same and I am not drawing equivalence. I have to be careful about sharing my views at work. Not that I am Christian but, that I am a pro-Pagan Christian. I am leery of talking about what I think in a place where I have to interact with co-workers and “get along”. I only reveal that I write a blog after feeling out the views of the other person. I can not imagine having to do that with every interaction both on and off line.

*****

“Jesus loves me, this I know…” He also loves the Old Ways and the Pagans and everyone else, too. My God is big enough to include everyone so, maybe we should act like it, too…

 

 

Burn the Witch

“A Witch, burn her”…

It’s odd how a smart aleck comment as a Facebook status may start a different path. The reply was “some of your closest friends are Witches”…

I was just trying to be funny. I didn’t even think Witches were real. I sort of knew the history but, thought it was hysteria during a fearful time. I didn’t know they still existed. I had even less of a clue that the person that would become my closest friend is one…

Sometimes people change our basic assumptions. I assumed Aj was Christian. I expected that because we share the same basic morality and value set. I took it for granted that she was Christian expecting that those values came from the same “faith”. I was not correct. We do not share the same faith.

It’s odd that she did not set out to change my world view but, did. We’ve talked about it lately. She HAD to reply with the truth and take the chance that I would be pushed away. It seems that we were both coming to the same conclusion, that we could be “best friends”…even without the other knowing that thought was occurring. She risked pushing me away to tell the truth…She almost did…and it would have been my loss…

Sometimes, I am unknowingly hurtful and cruel. I say things, trying to be “cute”, that are anything but…I attempt to be clever…and fail. We ALL do.

How was I to know that one comment would be one of those times…and begin a journey that would draw me closer to the target of that comment. The path God chooses for us is not visible until after we’ve walked it.

There’s no inflection or tone of voice on a screen. What you see are words written in black and white. You don’t get to hear the emotion in what I’m thinking. I wish you could. There are very few things I regret in my life. I am grateful for the addiction I carried for so many years because those years shaped who I am now. “Anguish” is too strong a word. “Regret” doesn’t quite convey what I am trying to express. “Sadness” also isn’t quite right because the flippant comment did work out…

Once upon a time, when Christianity was the “cult” and we were living in the catacombs and crevices of society, before we started to grow, while we were the upstart infants, Pagans were the dominant culture. While we were crawling around hiding from the Romans and convincing ourselves of our own worth, Pagan kings ruled Europe. Pagan craftsman and jewelers created weapons, implements, and artwork. They knew the heavens and stars. They had agriculture and commerce. Their works of engineering still stand. Their herbalists found treatments we still use today for conditions our quacks would “bleed” you for…

We, Christians, see “The Wizard of Oz” and mock the Witch, “I’m melllllting…” We watch reruns of “Bewitched”. We look at popular culture, that Monty Python reference comes to mind…and we forget…

…we forget that we DID burn Witches. We forget that the Pagan kings of Europe invited us in and gave us safety. We repaid them with persecution and murder. We forget that when we were twelve guys following Jesus, they were millions. We forget that we took over their Holy Days and assimilated their culture while keeping the bits we wanted and claimed that we were the origin. We ignore that we forced them to hide and live in the catacombs and crevices of society. We disparage and downplay the horror of the trials and the burnings and executions by saying “that was then, this is now”…

They have not forgotten…and I don’t blame them for remembering…

It’s a wonder to me that Aj didn’t push me away in that instant. She took the time to explain. She was and still is, patient with my questions. I probably would not be as patient as she is. I KNOW I wouldn’t have been at first. I’d have imagined and relived the horror and loss and tossed me away so fast my head spun. I would have not taken the time to explain. My comment would have not been a gentle answer, it would have been to remove contact.

This is the world we have created. We have caused our Elder Sisters and Brothers to have to hide in plain sight. We force them to appear to be like us. We tell their children that their parents view and faith are comic, untrue, or evil. We mock and deride. We make a profit on a fiction of them. We give them anything but legitimacy…and we owe them better than that…

*sigh*

My “best friend that is not my wife” is a Lady and a Witch. Her path is not mine but, it walks beside mine. Her Path is from a way that far precedes mine and a culture that is far more vibrant than I ever imagined. She’s not outwardly remarkable but, she’s inwardly, one of the toughest and most resilient people I’ve ever met. If you want to burn THAT Witch, please bring enough wood to burn a Heretic, too…

Part of me wishes I had never made the comment. I wish I had never reminded her of the history but, if I had not, there would not be a Witch in my life.

Aj Is Going Back to Hell…

I love writing about Aj. I’ve sent her to Hell…and said why I don’t think she’s going. I’ve talked of her life and how it intersects with mine. I’ve painted a picture of a Mother, a Teacher, and a Friend. I’ve expressed a desire for her to have all the good things this World may offer… It’s all part of the plan. I’m going to teach people to see people. I’m going to let you get attached to her and then…snatch her away…

*grins*

…not really…I wouldn’t take Aj away if I could. I’m going to teach you to learn to love Aj and then I’m going to ask you why you hold it against her that she doesn’t conform to your specific set of beliefs…well…maybe I will take her away…

Look at it from my perspective. The Lady *editorial, yes I use the word as a title* holds a special place in my life and heart. She is the other one I count on having “there”. Some days, just knowing she exists gives me reasons to have hope for the world. Why, then, would I want to expose her to people that only see the part that doesn’t conform to their limited perspective? To further make her subject to the “slings and arrows” that people would use on her? Why not let her stay in the circle that loves and protects her, me included?

What if I decided that you aren’t worth HER? What if I told you that, from my tiny perspective, that the second most important non-blood related woman in my life *editorial, my Mom sometimes reads this and she gave birth to me. That’s important. :)* is more important than all the rest of you combined?

I wonder what I should do? Should I send her to Hell again? Would that get your attention? Should I leave her alone and hope you do the same? I’ve tried both.Should I send her to Hell again? Would that get your attention? Should I leave her alone and hope you do the same? I’ve tried both.

I could say that say that her life and faith are none of your business but, it seems that we think we have a right to judge EVERYONES life. *editorial, the fact that I keep hammering away at this topic points out my own guilt, too*

I’ll be honest, as if I were not already, this blog, the entirety of it minus the autobiographical bits, is an attempt to manipulate your view point. It is designed to use guilt because logic doesn’t seem to work by making people see the humans they repress, disparage, or persecute as worthy of love. The tools are specific individuals that I know and love. The method is to form attraction between you and them and, then, ask you why you would diminish someone that you would like, and possibly, learn to love. The end goal, is for you to come to love them, even if only from a distance, and realize that you can not claim love and keep them in the chains of disdain that you think are your right to own…

I really don’t want to point any of this out. I’d rather just “say nice things” and hope it works. I would prefer to be able to encourage her and forget about the people that don’t. I’d love to not share her at all and keep her attention for myself. Wouldn’t that be great, keeping the love of my wife and that of my best friend selfishly locked away for my own and never to share?…Nope, what good is having someone to love and not sharing? Why be that selfish?

So…let’s send Aj to Hell. Let’s make that Hell Earth. Let’s keep telling her that she is worthless. Let’s keep our own moral high ground by diminishing the ground other’s stand on ’till there’s NO ground and they drown in their own worthlessness while admiring our own worth. Yeah, let’s feel good about ourselves at the expense of someone…anyone…so that we don’t have to face our own fears and weaknesses…

Look, I’m not trying to gain pity or sympathy for her. She needs neither. She is a strong, resilient, caring, and loving person. If any person needs both sympathy and pity, it’s they who feel no emotions but scorn, contempt, and haughty pride in their own infallibility, those who would look down their ever so long nose at her and fail to see their own warts.

Don’t feel sorry for Aj. She doesn’t want it or need it. Just give her the same room to live that you would demand yourself. That’s not too much to ask…and if you think she’s going to Hell, please do. Just don’t bother to tell me or her, we don’t care if you do…

Ask yourself this, too. Why would a Christian who has zero intention of ever becoming Pagan so determinedly and vigorously defend a Pagan? Why would he publicly claim her as “loved” and “best friend that is not my wife” if he feared her or the condition of her soul? She IS NOT a tool of the devil. She merely is herself and claims no master.

You may think Hell is her lot. I would disagree. She may be a bit banged up on the outside but, her soul is as shiny and clean as it was the day it was made…and that soul will never wind up in Hell…

*****

We all want to think we’re a “special snowflake”. We aren’t. At the very bottom of things, we all want to find our place. Aj is no different than any Christian. She, like us, want’s to interact with the Divine, live in peace, and love as she feels is best. She’s not special or different…and neither are you. The ONLY difference is, she does not pretend that her truths are universal. She does not feel like she has a right to compel anyone to conform to her view and she KNOWS that repressing someone for different beliefs is not her right.

If you want the things you expect yourself, religious freedom, respect, and love give them or admit hypocrisy. Show, by your actions, that you have earned the rights you demand…that or admit that while you send her to Hell, you are also commenting on the condition of your own soul, too…