fear

Burning Aj

Hey Aj, glad you’re here come in…yeah, I have a surprise for you, it’s in back…close your eyes… trust me… *mutters darkly “I wouldn’t*…what’s that? …oh, I didn’t say anything…yeah, it’s a BIG surprise…closed?…good, watch out, 3 steps…there ya go…stand right here…*takes shoulders and puts back against post*…stand still…*mutters “where did I put that damn rope?…found it”*…stand still…*grabs hands and starts to tie wrists*…stop struggling!…there we go, got ’em…*mutters “should have brought a damn gag”*…quit yelling…I’ll be right back…quit yelling…*runs into house and grabs dish towel*…*shoves into mouth*…*uses sleeve to wipe spit off of face*…what was that?…what am I doing?…hard to hear you with that towel in your mouth, sorry…what do you think I’m doing…*starts piling firewood around feet*…I said I had a “Big Surprise”. this is it. I’m burning a witch…you…*mutters*…where did I put that fucking gas can? …there it is …don’t mind the smell…why?… because you’re a Witch. what’s so hard to understand?…look at it like this, you did say you like the heat *inane giggle*…where did I put those matches…*pats pockets*…hey, you got a match?…sorry, I was joking, here they are…

*****

Miller!
What?
Stop!
Why?
Aj is your best friend. You can’t burn her!
*scratches head* Why not”
She’s a person. She’s your BestFriend. You. Can. Not. Burn. Her.
Yes, I can. She’s a witch, That means she’s NOT a person. It doesn’t matter what I do to a witch because they don’t matter. It’s not like they’re “real people”. Besides, everyone else treats them like shit. What does it matter what I do to one? They’re. Not. Real. People. .. Even if they were, it doesn’t mean anything, she’s just a witch. She’s gonna bun eventually, this is just a head start. Practice, in a manner of speaking…
Miller!
*exasperation* What?
You can’t burn Aj…
Look, we always figured my life would be less complicated if I had a “normal” Best Friend, this just simplifies things because she won’t be my best friend for long…and it really doesn’t matter because she’s a witch. Nobody cares what happens to them…
Miller!!
ENOUGH!! SHUT UP
*quietly* Miller…but…she’s your best friend and you love her…
…*almost silently* I know but, she’s a witch…and no one cares what happens to them so, why should I?…

*****

*checks knots*
*pours gas*
*lights cigarette*
*throws match*
*turns back and walks away…*

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Dear Aj,

Dear Aj,

By my estimation, I’m about 85% unafraid of you and about 15% scared spitless of what I don’t understand. I don’t really stress that last bit of afraid because it just doesn’t matter…

No, Aj, I am REALLY not stressing. We’ve been dealing with this for years, you and I… I may not ever get past those last “ghosts” of my conditioning but, to quote me, “so what?” We have come a very long way since that beginning, right? Since a very afraid and confused me met a Witch. Since I set aside my “Searsucker Fundie” thoughts and wandered into Heresy. Yeah, a very long way since I had to reconcile what I thought about where I KNEW your soul was going and where I am convinced it isn’t, now. You know these things. They’re just here so that we may see them again.

Herein lies the problem, Dear Friend. I worked against centuries of conditioning. I had to fight “The Wizard of Oz” and a raft of Disney. I had to overcome the fears that prompted the Salem Trials. The thing is I wanted to. I really wanted to be what I am, your best friend. I wanted it so badly that I knew that I had ZERO choices in the matter. I was at a spot where being “scared spitless” met “you’ll lose your best friend” and “spitless” lost…

I love you to bits. You don’t scare me. What “concerns” me is that people don’t see that. I have sent you to Hell in a blog post to make the point that I think that is a lie.  As an aside, you do realize how hard that was to write?  I’ve told friends about you in conversations, blogs, “FaceCrack” aka “your daily dose of dopamine” statuses and, every other method I can think of and I’m still worried.

I know that all you want is to be left alone to practice in peace. That’s it. You don’t want to proselytize. You aren’t out to change anyone’s beliefs or moral construct. You haven’t done that to me. We’ve never even talked about it except for tiny bits when I asked, about sending energy and I know you keep a candle lit for my house, just like I pray for your safety. You see, I’m not trying to change you either but, you knew that, too. My worry isn’t “you” but “for you” because people don’t see you, the person, they see “godless heathen Witch” or they see a caricature from movies and comics or they see”my darkest fear of demons and evil”. None of which are the Truth… You aren’t evil or a joke.

So, the question remains, what do we do? How do we teach people to look beyond? How do we give the unwilling a reason to take the harder path and confront themselves and what they think like I did? How do we teach the kids because “most” adults have their prejudices formed? Not everyone is as willing as I am/was to be open. Most of them don’t have an “Aj”. I suspect that most of them would have told you to get away as soon as they suspected that you weren’t like them. I’m not saying that makes me “special” or, in any other way, some kind of a Good Person. In fact, my reasons were, and are, ENTIRELY selfish. Everyone needs a Best Friend and when someone picks you to be theirs, you…or I…accept with gratitude.

I digress…

I don’t think we’ll change the world. I really don’t think anyone cares what a middle-aged Water Witch and a balding Heretic think. Sigh. I do think that we might change one person. We could possibly teach two or three if we’re lucky. We, I, still gotta try. We have to keep showing you to them and hoping for the best. At the End of Things, Truth and Love overcame Fear…and that’s all that counts. That and that if I can overcome my fear and gain my Best Friend, every bit of the work, all of the soul searching, all the dumb questions and neurotic phone calls and texts were worth the effort…

Love,
Miller

Divination Scares the S**t Outta Me

Divination, in all its forms, scares me from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. I mean, the idea of it, even this mention will cause nightmares. A few of the people I love are Witches. In point of fact, with one exception, the closest of the handful of people that aren’t related, are Witches. The Witches keep reassuring me that divination is nothing to be feared…and I still fear it. I suspect I always will…

So what?

To The Witches, divination and their spiritual life,  are a part of them as much as the physical parts of themselves. So, if I love The Witches, if they are as dear to me as I say they are, what choices do I have?

Well, I could reject them. Just kick them away from me. You know, “Hey, y’all are just a bunch of trash. If that’s a part of you, y’all are going to Hell anyway, keep away from me. Besides that s**t scares the crap outta me. Damn Sinners…” Yeah…NO. Not an option. First of all, I’m a Heretic and figure that my God is capable of many things that I don’t know or understand. Also, the Bible says it isn’t MY place to Judge the condition of anyone’s soul. Besides, The Witches are my friends and are the Wise Women I go to when I need advice from wise women. Aj prefers the term “crone”.

I could ignore it but, that option doesn’t work because their spiritual life IS a part of who and what they are. It would be like going to an exhibit of paintings and only look at the frames, missing the image you came to see. Seems fairly stupid to me.

That leaves the third option, I could just realize that THEY are not to be feared. That if I don’t run from them or push them away, my choice is to live with the fact that one of MY deepest fears is in error…or at least, try to convince my hind-brain of that even if my “thinking brain” knows they aren’t a  threat.

I KNOW The Witches.

I don’t know their every thought. I don’t their every thought. I don’t want to. I don’t know their rituals and practices. It isn’t my business. I don’t know what god(s) they follow and, again, unless they make it my business, it isn’t my business. What I do know is their character. I know that I can trust them with my fear of some of their Practice and they will, patiently, try…one more time…for the zillionth time…to explain and reassure. I know their love.

You know, it’s “odd” to be me. A Witch taught me some of the life lessons I needed to learn. The first woman that wasn’t a blood relative or a dog that I told I loved I married. That is my Lady Wife.

The second woman I ever said that to is a Witch. SHE, Aj, taught me that it is possible to love someone that you are not obligated to. To love a friend. She taught me that I don’t have to understand to be able to accept. She taught me that “different” is not the same as “threat”. She taught me that her beliefs and mine are not the same but, they can exist in harmony. She helped to teach me, read kick my a$$ in the right direction, that “I” am worth trusting, even if I didn’t believe it about myself. She gives me advice on difficult subjects like “how does my wife think?” She taught that sometimes you have to risk a great loss to have a great gain but, that’s a different story for a different time.

It seems kind of mercenary to me to not just kick The Witches out. I mean, I gain from them and they have to deal with my b.s. I mean, I see what MY upside is. I get to be around people I love and like and admire. What’s in it for them? I’m no great shakes. Just some random Heretic from a faith that pushed them underground and persecuted them for the better part of 2,000 years…I really don’t get it…That loss that is in the paragraph above, Aj told an, at that time, Evangelical Christian, now Heretic. that she was a Witch. She had decided she had found someone that could be her Best Friend…while I was realizing it…and KNEW that she had to tell me the Truth about herself, to remove any assumptions I may have, rather than to let me live with Illusion…and if I just decided that I should kick her aside, that would hurt but, not as much as the Lie would.

The Witches are NOT a threat. The first Witch I ever knew taught me that. The others I know reinforce that. Our beliefs are NOT the same but, the way we live our lives are.

You don’t have to agree with my faith…or theirs but, before you so readily dismiss someone as worthless, consider who they are. Don’t look at the frame and miss the artwork within…If all I see is what I fear, I lose The Witches. THAT loss is a price I am unwilling to pay.

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.

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.