life

There Was A Truck Across The Road

Yesterday morning, while I was having my coffee and smoke before work, I heard a boom. I didn’t think anything of it…till the sirens. The highway that I take to work is behind my house and the entrance that I use is about 1/4 mile away. It’s just a crossover that lets you go across 2 lanes of traffic to get to the northbound side…and someone coming south didn’t see the semi crossing his lanes. He hit the truck. He died. I KNOW that road. I know how fast traffic is. I suspect that it was quick. I hope he was gone before the flames got to him…
I don’t know who it was. It was just someone that was either coming home or going to work. No one expects that at 5:30 on a nice Fall morning that they won’t make it home from work. No family expects it…

I was going to write some cutsie pie post about a Blanket Fort…at least that was what I had been thinking about during the week. Yesterday morning changed that. I’m not going to use some person I don’t know as a tool to beat down people, please don’t read that into this.

Tell your person that you love them. Tell your people that you love them. If you’re in a fight and leave the house before you leave say “I love you”. Say the words.
Let the people that you surround yourself know what you like about them. Tell your wife she’s beautiful or your husband he’s attractive. If you don’t have either or a person, find someone and let them know.

Quit being so spiteful and fearful. Look for common ground and quit embracing xenophobic hate. Don’t consign people to Hell. When you take that stuff in, is that what you want in your heart when there’s a truck across the highway?

Let people in, don’t push them away.

*****

I like online conversations. It lets me see what I’ve missed. I’m sort of a functioning agoraphobic. I don’t ever want to leave home. As a result, most of my meaningful communication is online. The other day, I introduced someone I have been talking to for a couple (?) of years to Aj and Z. I am incredibly selective when I do that. I need to be sure that they fit. It was an emergency. My wife is feeling poorly. Just a bad cold…I think…but, I get stressed when she is because she’s my wife…anyway…
I introduced her to Aj and Z.

*When I NEED “prayer”, yeah not really Pagan but, still communication with the spiritual and not the profane, so, it’ll do, I go to Aj and Z. It covers the bases, Christian and Pagan.*

I was worried, yeah, that she wouldn’t fit, not because of her but, just because…well…Aj and Z and I respect them. My point, after I dropped offline for the night, the next day, I read back what was said.

As it turns out, much to my not surprise, she and Aj act just like old friends. They have a deep and abiding love of their Craft. They see beyond what I see. They both NEED to be grounded. Z, well, to tell Z she couldn’t get outside would be the end of her. I am glad I did and wonder why I waited. I should have known that.

What’s the point of this bit? Their worlds got a bit bigger. Mine did, too.

*****

I decided to write this to say when the end comes, the world ends, even if only for one person. I don’t know if I say it enough to them so…

You’re important to me. You, who you are, means more to me than mere typed words can express. I think about y’all all the time…and no this doesn’t mean that I think that what “I” think matters as much as that you have my, for what it’s worth, gratitude for letting me into YOUR worlds. That YOU matter. That you guys have embraced me being different and let me into your lives. If I don’t say it enough, I’ll give it one more shot. The compassion, patience, and understanding you’ve shown to my grumpy, middle-aged, hidebound, fearful, egotistical, worry-wort self, is beyond my understanding… Thank you all for letting me in to your worlds. I love you all dearly for it.

Life is vanishingly brief. It can end on a workday morning because you didn’t see the truck across the road.

 

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A Curmudgeonly Protective Rant

I’ve decided to be more close-minded. I’m going to slam it shut. I am not going to tolerate other views or perspectives. Willingly and with forethought jump off the deep end into my own view being the only correct one…

You might, at this point, be thinking, “Miller, you claim to be a Heretic. You ‘say’ that your best friends are “other” when it comes to who your demographic is. What gives? Have you just become some kind of a hypocrite?”

Well…no. My view is that my “other” friends are MY friends. What is good for them is good and what harms them is bad. Period. I can not physically protect them. They live too far away. I’m fairly sure that, between them, they have enough shovels to bury the bodies on their own anyway.

In fact, I don’t think they “need” me for any d**n thing. They’ve put up with enough bulls**t in their lives and come out stronger. They’ve walked their paths since long before I was around and they’re still on their feet. They made it past exes and a$$holes and abuse that would make my knees buckle. They’re a bunch of tough broads and I admire the hell out of them for it.

My friends, the “usual suspects” and another that seems to have crawled in over the past couple of years are better than me…and for damn sure you…*see, close-minded as hell*…In spite of that, they put up with me.

What I CAN do is to be on their side…meaning MINE. I can channel my inner curmudgeon and say “f**k you” to the world for them.

If this seems a “tad belligerent”, it is.

It is me protecting by wrapping my figurative arms around them and letting them have space, not a silly “safe space” but, just space where they don’t have to be anything other than who they are. Where some a$$hole guy doesn’t want them for what he can get from them…I lied, I do want to “get” something. It’s just that it isn’t sex, money, power, or personal validation. I don’t need any of those. I get to have people to care about. I get to let them have a bit of me…and I have a bit of them.

So, yeah, closed tight. Wrapped around a group of people that I wouldn’t have sought out. They’re far too different from “old me” for me to have gone looking but, since they’re here, I wouldn’t trade them for any number of you.

Like ’em. Love ’em. Hate ’em. I don’t care what you think. I’m not their “only” friend but, I am one that says “p**s on my demographic I love them just the way they are”

I Want to Title This “I Am Lucky” But, I Don’t Remember If I Have…

I haven’t written in a very long time. I don’t know if the words will find me…

Since my last post, it seems the World has changed. We are more divided than ever. *editorial, I am not and will not make this “political” because I think the state of “politics” is a symptom and not the disease*

If anyone is to “blame” it is ourselves. Maybe I missed it? Whatever happened to “live and let live”? What happened to being responsible for our own actions? Why is it someone else’s “fault” if something happens to me?

Why is it that it is easier to see someone as “different” and then claim persecution by them. Yes, persecution does happen. I am not denying that. Yes, prejudice and misogyny exist. People are stupid. I really get that. People are xenophobic and clannish. People are a$$holes just because…

People can also be kind and caring. People can empathize. People can reach out to strangers. We may, if we’re lucky, meet people that give us a chance to learn and grow.

I am lucky. I married my best friend. It was our first marriage. It happened in our mid-40’s. It is still, some years later, an “adventure”. I have said a few (thousand) times, “Smartest damn thing I ever did was marry her”. She makes me grow. She, not realizing it, forces me to look outside myself. I do things for her that I will not do for any other human…and sometimes I fall flat on my face, too…

Yesterday, I was also lucky. If you happen to read back through the blog from years past, you’ll find Aj all through them. I used, in a conversation a few minutes ago, the phrase, “I am romantically attached to ONE human and love a vanishingly few others”. As it turned out, yesterday, I was able to talk to, and watch them talk, a pair of them. It was the first time they interacted. There are not really words for how nice that was. The “funny”, read odd, thing is that I don’t really have any common demographic with them…race but, that doesn’t count…The list of “we don’t share” includes, gender, faith, geographical location, parental status, probably “that ‘p-word'”, a desire to go outdoors…pick a bunch more… and I love them dearly… What they have in common with my wife is that they force me, unknowingly, to look outside myself…and for that, they have my eternal gratitude…

Hobbes said, “No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death: and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” 

Yet, if we are lucky and I am, there are reasons not to be those.

We can make our own society that doesn’t include fear…well, aside from our own nightmares and insecurities but, you get my point. We can live knowing that the odds of “violent death” are small. We can be not “solitary”. The paragraphs up there prove that to me…As for the next two, “nasty” and “brutish”, those choices belong to YOU. “Short”? Who knows when this path ends? We are all going to be surprised when it does…

Life is an odd place. I am lucky that I finally grew up. I am grateful for every breath I am allowed. I am also grateful that I am allowed to have some people to love and that, I truly hope, love me back.

Ya know what? You decide what you want to do. Love me or hate me. See my demographic and blame me. See my loves as different. Those are YOUR choices. Live a cold, bleak, and distant life. See life as competition and struggle. I am not willing to spend my emotional energy on that. For me and mine, I’ll care for those in MY world and not be concerned with how you live in yours. Seems fair to me…

 

Other…

I was talking to a friend. She called herself “other”, meaning “different”…

It occurs to me that we are all other. I mean, even the people we think are “same” aren’t. How could we be? As far as I know, there are no cloned humans with exactly the same experiences. We might share a gender, political views, religious views, and sexual orientation but, even then, we came to those spots inside our own skins…

So, why did this idea of Other stick in my head?

It is because of this…We need to protect other. We need to appreciate the Otherness of those that are other. Gaaaaack, this seems so obvious to me. We will never be able to fully understand any human. Hell, we don’t even understand ourselves. Anyway, *sigh* to not protect Other, we fail to protect ourselves.

There’s nothing wrong with not being the same.

Current society thinks Other equals Dangerous. If your political views differ, that person must be a threat… I suppose I could go down the list but, y’all get the point…Jumpin’ Jimmeny Christmas and The Easter Bunny, being different doesn’t present an existential threat.

The next part of this thought is, how do we develop and mature our own views if we are so hidebound that we refuse to listen to difference? If am so unwilling to listen to dissent and become so defensive of my own views that I refuse to admit the possibility that I could be in error, odds are that MY views are less valid than I think. Perhaps it’s just me but, I do make mistakes and continually look for holes in what I think and my personal philosophies…and adapt when some Other shows me error or invalidity…

*****

Other is also a trap when you apply it to yourself…

“I am Other and they’re all the Same so, they couldn’t possibly understand me…” That’s what a kid says to their parents and a 20-something says to someone in their 50’s…Not realizing the oldsters survived what they are living. I know I used the section up there to point out how we’re all different but, which in this case doesn’t mean “please disregard”, in quite a few ways we are the same. We all started out pooping our pants. We all want whatever form of “success” we deem. We all want to love and be loved. We will all face the same end…

…and not to drop into “politics” because I have avoided making any indication of any “political” view I might have…

…Our parents survived the Cold War. *I was born in 1963*. Their childhood was filled with above ground Atom Bomb testing. Their parents were the generation of WWII. The parents of kids today, are children of the Viet Nam Era. The World has been filled with “threats” to us since before the Dawn of History…

We, humanity, will survive and adapt. It is our nature to do that…

*****

Other, hunh? Celebrate it.

Other, hunh? Protect it.

Other, hunh? Ignore it.

Other, hunh? Learn from it.

Other, hunh? Yeah, and Same…

Sitting on the Fence

I’m pondering on the nature of fences. Specifically, what does it take to stop sitting on one ? I’m not sure that there’s a conclusion for every case.

I know that there are issues that I will always remain apathetic about or will have decided that there are enough voices. Politics have worn me down. *editorial, I have no intent of going into party politics or debating the merits of either political party* I also think that there are some issues that have enough voices that mine is lost in the crowd. I may have a view there and might vote that way but, it really doesn’t mean I’m going to be vocal. 

Some times, I just don’t care. There are Issues that are not personal enough, will not affect me, or do not have a solution that makes enough sense to use. Other issues are really “non-issues” that have convinced people that they exist. Then there are issues that I have decided to not spend “emotional energy” on. Aj warns me about that quite a bit. She’s kind of my “emotional energy police”, in a good way. *editorial, Aj is my “best friend that is not my wife” and she tries her best to protect me from myself. She does a good job when I actually listen to her*

I think it comes down to when it becomes personal. When I decided that the issue was one that hit home. When I found a reason to WANT to spend my energy on it. I very rarely react publicly from an emotional point of view. My views are, usually, well pondered and thought out. Not to say that I’m unemotional but, I don’t let them make my decisions for me. It is, for me, counterproductive to get to a point where I’m slamming down the keys as I type. 

For me, faith and love are the same sides of the coin. *editorial, I’ve said that before, just don’t remember if I did here or not* That’s where it became personal. I first learned I had faith in something greater than myself. Then I realized that I was capable of love. I believe that love is also something “greater than myself”.

I met my wife. Learned that I loved her. Married her. Maybe not as simply as that but, that was the progression.

If you have read any of these, you know about Aj and Z. I’ll spare the details of how much I care for these ladies but, I’ll hit the high points. Aj is a person of strong faith. It happens to be Pagan. Z is also a person of strong faith, Christian, who happens to be gay. Because I had known them as people before I found out that either had an aspect of their life that I didn’t know, I didn’t really have a chance to apply any of my preconceived notions. Funny how that works. Neither wears a name tag that says “Hi my name is (blank) and I’m in a group that you are not.” They just go about their lives and let you make your decisions about them based on who they are. 

That was what pushed me off of the fence. Sure, there are a bunch of voices advocating religious freedom. *editorial, my Pagan friends might debate my choice of the word “religion”. It’s what I have so, it’s what I use*

Sure there a bunch of groups advocating “gay rights”. *editorial, please don’t get upset if I didn’t quite phrase that one to your liking either. Again, it’s what I have*

There is one group advocating Aj and Z. *waves*. I’m it. It became personal. I got nudged off of the fence. I hope that my voice and my words might sway someone else to change their views. I hope that my views of my friends might persuade someone else to see them as I see them and, by seeing them the way that I do, decide that they are not to be feared or scorned. I hope that my views might help someone, anyone else to overcome their apathy. I hope that by trying to show my friends as people, that they might gain additional support of their rights to live and love. I also know, that for Aj and Z to have the rights that they deserve that it’s going to mean the same for a bunch, millions, of others. For me, the millions are incidental to the two and those others that I know that fit either demographic. 

It is, and will always be, personal. I think that is where we always decide to get off of the fence. I think that when we do, we are able to speak with passion. I hope that my passion comes through. I believe that change will come when we can use that passion to persuade. I’m glad I’ve gotten off of the fence and spoken out. I’m glad that I was allowed into the yard. I remember, as a kid, sitting on the fence and watching the game. I wished I could play.  Life is not a game but, it is not worth living if you sit on the fence and watch it being played out.